LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS)— Livingston County EMS just received an extra set of tools to help kids on the autism spectrum when they are faced with emergencies.
‘Carter Kits’ were established in Saginaw, Michigan a few years ago to help first responders understand proper ways to help calm a child down when a high-stress situation erupts.
Livingston County purchased 130 Carter Kits Sensory Bags with aid from the state of Michigan in the form of a grant.
“Sometimes we encounter either patients or family members who have processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, or behavioral issues,” said, Corey Allison Paramedic Field Training Officer, Livingston County.
Corey Allison’s a Paramedic who continues to respond to emergencies and says the various kits approved for Livingston Emergency Response cars are crucial.
“With the noise-reducing headphones we will be able to put the headphones on somebody and the sound is very muted at that point they’re still able to hear,” Allison said, “and talk normally but it softens the blow like I’m saying with shards of glass. It takes those shards of glass turns it into a feather, and it’s easy for them to digest and be able to respond to you appropriately.”
There are 130 Carter Lit sensory bags distributed across Livingston County EMS response cars.
The bags were initially established by a detective working for the Saginaw Township Police Department whose son has autism. The kits have several options to choose from like; noise-blocking headphones, a weighted blanket, sensory toys, a sensory toy kit, and a sensory bag communication tool pamphlet. The pamphlet has an option on the back for children to point to how they are feeling under stress, and let first-responders understand how much anger, frustration, or anxiety they are dealing with first-hand.
“It’s that opportunity for us to ensure we are prepared when it comes to a situation we can help someone and comfort them.” Ryan Dennett, Education Supervisor, Livingston County EMS.
Dennett’s worked with the state of Michigan to get a grant to pay for the kits; Neurologists, and the creators of the ‘Carter Kits.’ Dennett continues to push his department and coworkers to fully understand how to use the kits.
“I want these to be used correctly and it comes with training with that any tool that you get some training to identify how to use it correctly,” Dennett stated, “and when you get things to hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity with your patients you want to be prepared to be able to address what they need.”
More than 600 Carter Kits are being used in 24 states across America.
To learn more about Carter Kits and see the local and national coverage visit CarterKits.com.