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"Piece of Mind" offers help to families with autistic members

Sarah Baker, the program director for Piece of Mind, talks with FOX 25 about the help it provides. (KOKH/Matt Coon)

Sarah Baker, as a speech pathologist in the metro and as a mom of a child with autism, is impacted by many kids with special needs. She works with Autism Oklahoma and has helped start a new program within the organization "Piece of Mind."

The newly formed program offers families with autistic children help keeping them safe and secure, through grants, education and partnerships with law enforcement.

"With autism comes a lot of different safety concerns," Baker said.

Children with autism may not react like a typical child in an emergency and they may have the tendency to wander away.

"As a parent you want your children to be safe. As a law enforcement agent you want the same thing too," Baker said.

She hopes to get a state-wide program started-- a database for first responders, that identifies children on the spectrum. She started with her local law enforcement agency.

The Grady County Sheriff's Office has started a registration program.

"It's a very nice list of things you may not remember off the top of your head if you have a child who was lost. How tall they are, do they like certain things, do they like water, are they attracted to the neighbors cute little puppy next door, so maybe that's where he is, do they like to be touched or not to be touched," Baker said.

Piece of Mind is also offering grants to families for things like GPS locator systems and door or window alarms to prevent wandering.

Baker said the program got started after a tragedy in Oklahoma. Last June, Damion Davidson, who was only 8-years-old, wandered from his home in Duncan and was found dead two weeks later.

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