Wendy Fournier on Jul 12, 2012
I get emails and phone calls almost daily from for-profit companies
pitching their products. Let’s face it, with the autism rate now at 1 in
88, we have become a huge market share of consumers. Our kids have
become a commodity. To my disappointment, 95% of the folks who get in
touch tell me how much they care and how they sincerely want to help
families affected by autism – and then ask me how NAA can help them sell their product and make money from the incredibly financially-strapped autism community.
As my eyes roll back in my head, I’m thinking, “Dude! We’re a
non-profit, not an advertising agency. You should be asking how YOU can
help US!” As the conversation continues, I suggest ways they can
provide real help to families affected by autism, if that is their true
intent. Would they like to sponsor our programs that provide direct
assistance to families? Would they like us to distribute their product
for free to families in need? Would they like to offer a discount on
their product to families who find it via NAA? Would they like to
donate a percentage of their profits to our Big Red Safety Box program?
I think you can see where this is going.
So imagine my surprise when I received an email two days ago from a
gentleman named Eric telling me about a product he’s developed that
folks have told him may be helpful for kids with autism. He said if it
will help keep our kids safe, he doesn’t want to make any money on it at
all, he just wants to make sure that it is used by the people who need
it most. HUH? Is this guy for real?
So I called Eric, and he introduced me to childIDcode. He’s developed technology that can create a QR code
that can be read by a smart phone even when cell service or WiFi is
unavailable. A unique code is produced for each person and printed on
special high-tech stickers that are water-proof and extremely durable.
The stickers say, “Scan if lost”. When the code is scanned with a
smart phone, two emergency telephone numbers are displayed and can be
dialed automatically. I was impressed!
What a great tool for parents
of kids who wander or bolt – especially for those with sensory issues
who cannot tolerate an ID bracelet. If a member of the public or a
first-responder found the child, they could immediately get in touch
with the family. These would be awesome for school field trips,
vacations, even daily trips to the grocery store with our kiddos who
tend to bolt – place a sticker on the back of your kid’s shirt and go!
My wheels started turning and I mentioned to Eric that I thought it
would be even better – especially for our kids who are non-verbal – if
the code could let people know that the wearer has autism. In less than
24 hours, Eric and his programming friends made that happen for us!
These special childIDcode stickers for kids with autism are now
available exclusively through NAA.
When scanned, they will read, “I
Have Autism” and display a caregiver’s emergency telephone number. To
introduce the product, Eric has given us 50 5-packs of stickers to give
to families for free. You can get yours here,
while supplies last. (Sorry, our system can’t process an order for $0,
so please donate a buck to NAA to get your free stickers.) And moving
forward, NAA will be offering childIDcode stickers in packs of 10 for just $4.99
– this is 50% off the retail price, and available exclusively to autism
families. Even more amazing, is that childIDcode will not take one
penny in profit on these items – they are donating a full 100% of the
proceeds from each order you place to NAA’s Big Red Safety Box program to help us protect even more kids from wandering.
So you can see why this super-cool dude from San Diego who I “met”
just about 48 hours ago is my new BFF. :-) There ARE people out there
who genuinely care about our kids and truly want to help. My heart is
full of hope today. Thank you, Eric!
UPDATE: The 50 free sets were GONE in 25 minutes! You can buy packs of 10 for 1/2 price here, with free shipping: http://nationalautismassociation.org/store/#ecwid:category=2416355&mode=product&product=13535805
For those of you who would like to order stickers for children who do NOT have autism, you can order at http://childidcode.com.