The Autism Passport

Dining Choices, Turks and CaicosI had the privilege of hearing Dr. Brenda Smith-Myles at the Northeast Regional Conference on Autism. Her keynote address concerned Transitions. Although the address covered many techniques and tools for helping with transitions, one really struck me.

This particular tool was The Learner Snapshot which she had developed with Judy Marks. Her point was that a teacher could spend a whole year figuring out the strengths and challenges of a student and then, when that student moved on to the next grade, the new teacher could spend the next year learning all of the same information. The Learner Snapshot provides a framework for one teacher to pass on their experience to the next and to make the transition that much easier.

In one of those “aha” moments, I realized that something similar would help parents when dealing with hotels, resorts and cruise ships. Parents are the experts when it comes to their children. They know, well, the challenges and strengths of their own child. They need to communicate those to caregivers who will be assisting their children wherever they are vacationing.

Starting with their document as a base, I was able to remove things like Learning Style and add items like Sensory Challenges.  The other difference that we needed was to try to give the intended recipients just a little background on some common issues for autistic people so that they had a frame of reference. Special Education teachers, of course, already know these things. The resulting document is The Autism Passport.

I’ve had it reviewed by a number of experts in the field. Feedback has ranged from GREAT !!! to Dr Myles’  own “Very cool !”.

I’ve also shared it with a number of resorts. Their feedback has varied from “yes, we would welcome this” to that plus “can we get a copy in advance of the guest arriving ? It will help us to prepare ahead of time.”

So here is the Autism Passport. Please use it, if it will help you. Please let us know, if you think that it can be improved.

Autism Passport – 05.01.13

Autism Passport – 05.01.13 – Printable

Prints on letter size paper and should be folded to make a half-letter sized booklet.

 

Thank you Brenda and Judy for the inspiration

Comments

  1. As an adult on the spectrum who has a foster child also on the spectrum, I welcome the Autism Passport. It is a sensible way to help everyone. A true win-win innovation. Thank you for this intelligent and compassionate was to make traveling better for everyone!

  2. Judy Marks says:

    Thank you for kind words and utilizing The Learner Snapshot. So glad to hear that you all find it as a useful tool.

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