This Week’s Guest

For this podcast, I step outside of the DIR/Floortime world to showcase If I Need Help, a non profit that reunites those who might become lost, disoriented, or need assistance in a critical moment with their families, loved ones, and caregivers using modern technologies in practical, accessible, and affordable ways–so providing assistance for our loved ones with communication differences. I have purchased their products since 2016 and I welcome Bruce Wilson today to tell us more about If I Need Help

 

Peace of Mind

When Bruce and Erin’s son was non speaking in elementary school, he was left outside at school. Another mother saw him and brought him inside and told Bruce and Erin. The school never told them. They realized that there was a need for a product to help reunite children with their caregivers. It’s a career that chose them, rather than the other way around. Each day, they speak with parents whose children have been found after being missing who are grateful for being reunited with their child.

The Products

Whether it’s a tag on someone’s shoes or an ID card in someone’s wallet, If I Need Help makes many products that people can use at their discretion. There are safety kits that people can buy as well, that group many items together, or you can browse through their single products:

  • shoe tags
  • ID cards
  • pendants
  • T-shirts
  • patches
  • bracelets
  • fidget blankets
  • street signs
  • alerts (for hotel doors, for instance)
  • …and much more!

Who are they for?

 

The products can be helpful for children with disabilities such as Autism, Downs syndrome, Angelman syndrome, and others, but can also be used for adults with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. The individual wears or has the item on them and if they are missing, a stranger can see the tag and help reunite you with your loved one.

How it Works

Most of the products have a QR code that people can click on, or a url (on the bracelets, for instance) to link to a website profile that lists information about the individual that you have access to, where you can add as much information as you want, including a photo, or information about medication. It’s a caregiver-controlled registry. On the items themselves, you can add text such as a phone number, name, or label, such as ‘Autism’. I own patches, keychains, and the seatbelt tags, myself. I suggested to Bruce to send out an email once per year to remind customers to update their registries in case they moved or if the information about their loved one has changed.

Get the products funded!

Where you sign up there’s an area called “Additional funding companies” where you can choose the funding agency and service coordinator to have them fund the products for you. The service coordinator gets an email to start the process. If your area is not funded, you can put in an additional funding agency and put in your service coordinator’s email address and select the products you want and explain why, and an email will be sent to the funding agency requesting them to fund the products.

Free Giveaways

In order to help the most people possible, If I Need Help also has grants that allow them to give away products every year, which you can find out about via their social media or from their email list.

If I Need Help social media:    

This week’s PRACTICE TIP:

This week let’s take some time to put some safety contingencies in place, even if it’s unrelated to today’s podcast. Sometimes we forget about safety issues and that a teaching a few precautions can alleviate potentially harmful situations or conditions.

For example: Does your child know what to do if they are lost? If they find themself at home alone with an incapacitated parent? If they start to choke? If there is a fire? 

Thank you to Bruce Wilson for providing this service with his wife, Erin, and for taking the time to do the podcast this week. Please visit the If I Need Help website and share it with others and consider sharing this blog post and podcast on social media. Feel free to share relevant experiences, questions, or comments in the Comments section below.

Until next time, here’s to choosing play and experiencing joy everyday!

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