New York lawmaker pushes for ID cards for individuals with autism

idcardsRotterdam, N.Y. — A lawmaker in New York is pushing for ID cards for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Angelo Santabarbara of District 11 is hoping that individuals living with autism spectrum disorder in New York can soon avail themselves of an autism ID card, which is meant to help inform others of the cardholder’s condition.

Santabarbara himself has a son who has autism, and he believes that giving individuals with ASD ID cards that will help them communicate with others is an important tool. He told:

“It gives them one more communication tool where my son may not be able to communicate. Finding this card, people will know that, and they’ll know how to handle the situation so it’s effective communication.”

Similar ID cards are already being used in other states like Alabama, but the proposed autism ID card in New York will look much like the New York State identification cards for non-drivers.

Autism advocates such as The Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region approve of Santabarbara’s proposed autism identification cards, so long as they are not mandatory. The assemblyman assured that the IDs will not be compulsory.

According to The Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region Director Janine Kruiswijk:

“We’re not looking to label anybody. We don’t feel that there should be mandatory identification. We have a great belief in dignity and choice in our community, and if a tool can provide additional support, that’s fine.”

Santabarbara hopes to bring his proposal before the assembly early next year.

Source: Noel McLaren: News 10: Local lawmaker to push autism ID cards