AAoM Knows Safety
As summer starts to wind down in August, and families begin to shift their schedules and activities in preparation for back to school craziness, it is during these times we at AAoM become most concerned about safety consciousness. The distractions of busy days and a full “to do” list are particularly risky when it comes to a child prone to wandering or other safety situations.
The AAoM safety program was started in 2012, expanded statewide from an earlier, smaller initiative to train State troopers in mid-Michigan. To date, we have trained over 19,000 first responders and other community workers. We saw the value of educating these audiences to make life outside the home safer and more inclusive for all families across Michigan. We believe the most effective safety program is created and implemented by autism professionals and instructors having experience across a wide range of audiences (educators, police officers, clinical representatives, etc).
Our GPS scholarship program was created in the same year (2012). It was in this year that Sean Taglione, a young child with autism lost his life, wandering dangerously into traffic after disarming and escaping from home. We have been fundraising to equip hundreds of families with the devices and have proudly named the program the “Sean Taglione GPS Scholarship Program”. Today, it is fully funded by the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity at the University of Michigan, who every year raise over $75,000 to keep children safe with GPS protection. Thank you, Alpha Sigma Phi!
We hope as summer winds down, you are enjoying time with family and the last of vacations but always keeping conscious the importance of safety, especially for our families living with autism.
Colleen Allen, Ph.D.,
President and CEO, Autism Alliance of MI
Governor Appointee, MI Autism Council