By Matt Harris
Sudbury is one of only a handful of communities in Canada with an online registry for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Greater Sudbury Police Service launched the registry today.
The database provides police officers with information to be used for missing persons, emergencies, or to defuse a situation.
Parents or guardians can input information easily on the registry by visiting the Greater Sudbury Police website: www.gsps.ca.
Deputy Police Chief Al Lekun recommends updating the information on a yearly basis (for example on the child’s birthday).
Trish Kitching is a mother of three children, all of whom has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
She says the registry gives peace of mind since two of her children are very vulnerable and are flight risks.
Kitching says some Autistic children won’t tell parents or guardians where they’re going, they’ll just walk.
President of the Sudbury and District Chapter of Autism Ontario says the information in the registry will be helpful for police since some of those with Autism might not interact well in community or public settings or may have poor communication skills.
Prior to the registry parents would have to provide special directions or specific information to police officers when an Austic child went missing.
The Sudbury registry was launched on World Autism Day.
North Bay, Ottawa and Windsor also have an online Autism registry with their police departments.
(Greater Sudbury Deputy Police Chief Al Lekun, Inspector Todd Zimmerman, Dennis Lendrum of Autism Coffee Chat, Trish Kitching of Autism Coffee Chat & mother of children with Autism, Rick Grylls with Sudbury Chapter of Autism Ontario & Constable Eric Krmpotic)