YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Parents of children with autism know it can be challenging for strangers to communicate with their kids.
Adding an emergency situation can make matters more difficult, especially for police.
Thursday, the Youngstown Police Department donated 100 special, blue safety belt covers to help.
They fit over seatbelts or a child’s backpack strap and say the person has autism and might not be able to communicate.
The covers also have pockets inside to add important details like names and phone numbers.
Becky Henry, a mother of two children with autism, said she can see the benefit of the straps.
“It’s a concern of mine always, if we’re traveling together, if something were to happen to me, if we were in an accident. My oldest, Lucas, would not be able to tell anyone his name or who could be contacted in case of an emergency, so with the seatbelt covers, it’s all taken care of right there,” she said.
Interested parents can contact the Rich Center for Autism at 330-941-1927 to get a free seatbelt cover. The Rich Center is located on Youngstown State University’s campus, at 640 Elm St. in Youngstown.
According to the Youngtown Police Department, officers paid for the covers with money collected from speed camera tickets.