Colbert County Autism Database launches Tuesday

The goal of the database is to help first responders better help people with autism.
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 9:29 AM CDT
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COLBERT Co., Ala. (WAFF) - On Tuesday, a database designed to help Colbert County first responders launched. The goal of the database is to help first responders better help people with autism.

For the database to work, family members or caregivers can fill out a form that will help generate the database. Medical student, Fabian Oden, spent several months working to create this database.

Oden came up with the idea of a database after previous experience as a paramedic working with autistic people.

“This database was created because there is a large education gap between first responders and dealing with patients with autism,” Oden said. “Developing this database helps with knowing on the front end and going in with a patient who has autism and knowing how we need to communicate with that individual.”

Once a form is filled out, the address will be tagged and if an emergency dispatcher receives a call, the person with autism will show up on the screen along with any information about the individual.

As a parent of someone with autism, Allison Neal is excited about this project.

“This being in place really sets a precedent to hold people accountable for their actions and the way they treat people of this population,” Neal said.

Cory Mills, Colbert County’s 911 Communications Training Officer, said the project will help first responders communicate and provide better care for people with autism.

“So with pushing out this form to guardians and caregivers to fill out we’re able to relay how that person may communicate,” Mills said. “Some are nonverbal or some may communicate with sign language. Technological things like that will be helpful. It’s pretty easy with those that have autism to maybe have a misunderstanding with those responding to them. They are not understood and they don’t know how to communicate.”

This is the first project of its kind in Colbert County.

“We are pretty excited about this to see where it takes us,” Mills said. “I think it’s going to go pretty well. Getting into our system and being able to use it. I think we’re pretty excited about it and to see where it goes.”

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