Communication Passports For Autistic Children

As any loving mum would, I always look for ways to help Finley since his diagnosis and, as per usual,  I was recently mooching around the internet hoping to find the miracle 'cure' for his non-verbal, minimal understanding, often difficult to deal with Autism. It was not to be. Obviously! But hey, one can dream...

It was the Supreme Court ruling that wheelchairs take precedence over buggies on buses that really got me thinking. How on earth am I supposed to fold his buggy down if asked. I imagine a bus load of people burning holes in the back of my head, staring, judging or tutting, all whilst I look at the wheelchair-bound person who is expectantly awaiting my move. It absolutely terrifies me.

Such a happy, smiley little boy.

Disability seems to be pigeon-holed to the image of a wheelchair. So wrong. Despicable even. It's 2017!

I've witnessed people say that there's no reason it couldn't be done. That if that child was truly 'disabled' their pram would have obvious physical adaptations or, clearly, their oxygen tank would be attached. What the hell?

So disability is only valid when visible. Yeah, OK hun.

Don't forget though, "parents choose to have kids, wheelchair users don't choose to have no legs." Again, dramatic much? A) Using a wheelchair doesn't mean that the user "has no legs", talk about a massively disrespectful generalisation... and B) As a parent I didn't choose for my son to have a lifelong neurological condition.

Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

With the above in mind and my searching the net for any additional pointers that might help Finley, I came across CALL Scotland's communication passport templates online. OooOoo!! What's this, I thought, with great intrigue.



A personalisable mini guide as to how my little person works - helpful for all who see him or need to spend some time with him. It certainly saves having to run through everything every single time, that's for sure.

In addition, in the case of the bus issue, when he bolts in public and fails to respond to his name or it looks like I'm torturing him by holding on to him for dear life as he screams, thrashes and hits out, this could be really REALLY good for when he's "a naughty boy" (or whatever they want to say) when not in his buggy on a bus.

Check it out...

Template courtesy of CALL Scotland. Scroll down for link


I plan on having some of these made professionally to keep in his change bag, coat pocket, my handbag - wherever I can, really. It would look so much better than this sellotaped, whacked together version! Of course, I want to tweak it slightly, add a photo of him and put background colours in place etc. When I've taken that step and had them made, I'll share the finished product with you all.

You can find their templates over at communicationpassports.org.uk and there's a good, wide range to choose from.

What do you think? Will you use one for your little dude or dudette?

Image of Finley courtesy of Little Rainbows


Spectrum Sunday

19 comments:

  1. Wow. That is a great idea Jo. You are so on the ball. What a great mum and advocate you are for Finley. There must be a charity or organisation that could back you on this idea. This could make a real difference to lots of children and their families. And you are right about people prejudging. Raising awareness is the only way to challenge such ignorance. Keep up the fight. You're doing great. Proud to have taught you xxx

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  2. I love this idea. I am with on disability being a picture of someone in a wheelchair though and you are right, how do you fold down a pushchair, I am guessing there needs to be a little give and take on both sides x

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  3. This is amazing! It would help so much for a communatcion in many situations! Absolutely great idea!

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  4. I think this is a good idea - maybe parents with kids with additional needs could do with this info displayed, kind of an equivalent of the blue badge system to use when travelling on public transport? Maybe buses need more seating which can fold up so that more pushchairs and wheelchairs can be accomodated. #SpectrumSunday

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  5. I think it's a fantastic idea. And yes people can be judgemental but that's just human nature so is a good idea to carry this to give yourself peace of mind too. Next time you're on the bus you know you have this card to back you up x

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  6. Great idea I love this blog I think they should accommodate both push chair users and wheelchairs

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  7. I thinks these are a great idea. And the buggies vs wheelchair debate irritated me - there no absolute correct answer as it depends on the circumstances of those involved. Thanks so much for linking with #spectrumsunday. We hope you come back next time.

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  8. Those info sheets look a good idea. I don't have to struggle to a bus now but I remember how sometimes I would wish for a magic card to flash at folk so I could sit on an easy to get to seat, and I'm a grownup. Pesky MS. The trouble with the buggy thing is that so many do use a big buggy that can't be folded just because it's convenient for them, not because of need.

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  9. them info cards are a great idea

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  10. What a fantastic idea, so simple but so helpful.

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  11. I have one of these for my son he has autism and epilepsy. We also have a medical passport for his seat belt listing his conditions and medication in case of an accident

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  12. I get what you are saying about buggies vs wheelchairs on buses and invisible disabilities. I can also see how difficult it must also be for a wheelchair user when there is a child could be moved out of their buggy to accommodate them. I think it would help if we were all a bit more understanding!

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  13. they use these in some of the special schools in Cardiff where I live - they are a great idea :)

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  14. Such a great idea and would really make a difference straight away to them :-)

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  15. Excellent idea. A stress free way of dealing with the many unthinking folk out there.

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  16. I think these are a great idea. As someone who suffers from an "invisible" illness, I get odd looks or comments from people who are obviously thinking "she doesn't look sick to me", so I can appreciate how it must make you feel when people don't understand that your child needs to be kept in his buggy.

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