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?
ChildIDCode has developed technology that can create a QR code that can be read by a smart phone QR scanning app 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 with a smart phone found the child, they could scan the code and get in touch with the family. These would be great for school field trips, vacations, even daily trips to the grocery store with our kiddos who tend to bolt. 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.
These special childIDcode stickers for kids with autism are now available through NAA’s Big Red Safety Shop. 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. 100% of the proceeds from each order you place will support NAA’s Big Red Safety Box program to help us protect even more kids from wandering.
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.
For those of you who would like to order stickers for children who do NOT have autism, you can order at http://childidcode.com.