Regional police create a registry for the autistic - allowing for access to vital information should an autistic person go missing.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 11, 2014



For those families that have children who are autistic – everyday life is different. One of the fears is that as the child grows he or she may begin to wander and suddenly be lost. The fear and the dread in the hearts of the parents is palpable: where is my child?

The Halton Regional Police have launched a new Autism Registry.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life: it is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. It is believed that over 100,000 people in Ontario are diagnosed with some form of ASD.

This voluntary registry is designed to provide a better system of service delivery to community members by ensuring that front line officers have access to vital information when responding to occurrences involving people with ASD.

The registry system provides a proactive means to gather information voluntarily provided by the person registering in the program, or the parent or guardian of the registrant. This information would include the description and photograph of a registered person, behaviours, routines, communication abilities, expected locations of travel, as well as other detailed information.

This registry is entirely voluntary and operates under the basis that families willingly provide police with critical information in relation to a person living with ASD which will help officers in their overall response. By gathering this data in advance of any potential occurrences, police will be entering into a situation with more information, allowing them to have a more specific understanding of what they are responding to.

This registry was developed in conjunction with Autism Ontario – Halton Chapter as well as with information provided by other police services with similar registries. Participating in the registry simply requires access to the internet and visiting the Halton Police web site. Link here.

Information on the Registry web site includes:

What is the Autism Registry?
Can individuals with other special needs participate in the registry? Or is it restricted to those who fall within the Autism Spectrum?
If I don’t live in Halton Region, can I still register my child/dependent adult in the Registry?
Will the information be immediately available to police officers as soon as I register?
Will I need to quote my confirmation occurrence number when I call police?
Who has access to the Autism Registry?
Can I update my profile more than every year if there are changes? How do I do that?
Will I be notified when the annual renewal is required?
How will this registry help if my child/dependent adult goes missing?
How do I contact Autism Ontario?

The Halton Regional Police continue to promote advocacy, support and education for families who are affected by the challenges of ASD and do so both internally and with our community partners.

Autism directly affects several members of the Halton Regional Police Service.

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