For the majority of kids, watching a fire engine go by is exciting. There's something about the possibility of heroic action that kids just love.
For kids with autism, however, it can be a different story. Some children with ASD are triggered by bright lights and loud noises, so much so that it can be physically and mentally overwhelming for them.
Firefighters in Cornwall, Ontario, have decided to remedy the situation by carrying kits that can help kids with ASD to calm down. According to CBC News, this extra equipment includes a plethora of things known to help children in these situations.
Donated by local charity Rachel's Kids, the boxes include noise-cancelling headphones, a massage roller, a weighted blanket, a teddy bear and other objects perfect for soothing kids in an emergency. Everything in the kits has been specifically chosen to soothe and placate ASD kids in high-stress situations, such as a fire.
The kit also comes with instructions on how to use these items, should the kids be in the care of someone who doesn't know how to manage their condition.
Rachel Navaneelan founded the charity after working as a dental assistant. Wanting to use her experience with ASD kids for the greater good, she decided to go down this route and help children in the community.
According to Rachel, three of the kits have already been used. If they continue to be successful, then they will send further kits out to the police force and paramedics to use when they should need them. Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement praised the idea in a press release, calling it an "excellent partnership."
Like anything, these kits do cost money. The charity was able to put these together using funds raised during Autism Awareness Month in April of this year. It's believed that 1 in every 59 kids has ASD in some form, but many cases go unrecognized. Let's hope this fantastic charity have the impact it's looking for on the local community.
With such a great cause to work for, it looks like they're already making giant leaps to help everyone feel safe and comfortable in times of great distress.