What is the Autism Registry?

The Registry for People with Autism is a Cornwall Community Police Service project in partnership with the Autism Ontario - Upper Canada Chapter - East. The online registry promotes communication and gives police quick access to critical information about a registered person with autism in a police emergency by capturing information such as a full description, routine/favourite attractions, communication and other special needs as well as emergency contact information.

If I don't live in Cornwall, can I still register my child/dependent adult on the registry?

If you do not live in Cornwall but your child/dependent adult comes to Cornwall on a regular basis (i.e. for school, daycare, etc.), then you should register. If the registrant is not in Cornwall regularly, there would be almost no benefit to registering. Not all policing jurisdictions will have access to the registry, so if you are reporting an incident in another jurisdiction, it will be quicker and safer to go through their process for taking reports.

As soon as I send the registration, will the information be immediately available in case police response is required?

No. The registration form will need to be entered into a number of policing systems in order to capture all relevant information. It is hoped that this process will be quick but it may take up to two days to be fully processed.

Who has access to my child's profile?

Police personnel who require this information in the performance of their duties will have access to the information. There are strict regulations with respect to accessing and disseminating information.

Can I update my profile more than every year if there are changes? How do I do that?

You may, however, only information that has a significant impact on policing response will be necessary. Some examples would include a change in address, school, or emergency contact. You do not need to report a change in hair cut or colour, for example, as the police are familiar with the changes that can be made and are more likely to notice height, weight and eye colour. You can send changes by email.

Will I be notified when the annual renewal is required?

The renewals are the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian. It is recommended that you renew the registration during the month of the registrant's birthday.

How will this registry help if my child/dependent adult goes missing?

If the individual goes missing and is reported by the parent/guardian, information about his/her physical appearance, the most likely places where he/she would go to, as well as triggers, stimulants, and de-escalation techniques will be sent to every police officer in the area to look for the missing person.

If the individual has not been reported and is incapable of effectively communicating his/her name to an officer, a computer check of the neighbourhood, coupled with the physical appearance, may allow us to identify the individual more quickly. This will then allow us to use the contact information to connect with the parents/guardians.

What guarantees do we have that the interaction between our child/dependent adult and the police will be positive once he/she is registered?

There is no guarantee with this registry of positive outcome. What the registry allows is the ability for patrol officers to have necessary information faster to begin searching. Also, if an officer comes across a "wandering" child who is unable to communicate, the officer, if they recognize the condition, can have the database queried for persons on the registry that live in the area.

What is important to stress is that simply having a person registered with the registry is not going to change police responses in every instance involving an individual with ASD. Police will act according to procedure depending on circumstances. An individual with ASD can still be arrested. In that case, being registered will assist police in contacting the correct people.