Last month, the Travis Alert Bill, passed through the House and is now on to the state Senate. The law requires training for emergency personnel when arriving on a scene and assisting people with disabilities, as well as providing information about the disabled person through the 911 dispatch system in an emergency.
Travis and his families’ story is a story of resilience and love. Travis, who lives in Wapato, was diagnosed with autism at 5. The disorder makes it difficult for him to communicate, is sensitive to noise and prone to running away. At the age of 6, Travis, wandered out of the house and had been swept away into the culvert adjacent to their property. The father, Darren King, was able to find and rescue him.
The incident caused Theresa to take steps to make their home safer for Travis. In April 2015, Darren painted a blue jigsaw, the symbol for Autism, to let first responders know that their was someone with autism in the house. Eventually, someone had taken a picture and the photo went viral on Facebook with 90,000. Therasa than took it a step further and contacted her local representative and the rest is history.
Here some photos that I took:
1). Travis King, 11, plays in the puddles in the front of his home near Wapato, Wash., Friday, January 23, 2016. Travis’ obsession with water was the catalyst that created the proposed legislation. Lawmakers in Olympia are considering a bill to create an alert system for first responders.
2) Travis King, 11, runs to the front door after being dropped off by the school bus on Friday, January 23, 2016.
3) Theresa King encourages her son, Travis King, 11, after going through his journal at their home near Wapato, Wash., Friday, January 23, 2016. The journal, which is called his school communicator, allows Theresa and Darren to go through what Travis did during the school day. “I woke up one day and said ‘you know what, this is not about me’. This is about my child.” Theresa said. “If I want him to be a productive part of society, I need to teach him how to do that.”
4 & 5) Travis King, 11, plays with his toys on Friday, January 23, 2016. Travis loves planets and Travis learns how to us his expressive language while playing with his toys and interacting with his parents and siblings.
6) The Travis Alert icon is seen on the King mailbox at their home outside Wapato, Wash., Friday, January 23, 2016. The orange puzzle piece is made to alert emergency responders that there is someone with a disability in the house.
7) Travis King, 11, check on his 4-H pigs in the backyard at his home in Wapato, Wash. Friday, January 23, 2016. “He is just as important and just as smart as any other kid,” Theresa said. “He is one of the most special children.”