My Son Thomas, is 11, he has autism and is struggling with his independence a little bit.
He likes to ride his bike around the street, but sometimes get distracted or goes off a little far.
I do stand outside and keep an eye on him, but when he goes around the block, those 5 minutes or so out of sight can be a little bit nerve racking, knowing he may get distracted or head off somewhere without letting me know.
I found on EBay the Baofeng 888 no thrills UHF radio for under £10 each delivered.
I was able to shown Thomas how to use them.
The box contains 2 radios, docking station and USB charge plug, rubber duck antenna, wrist strap and also additional headset / microphone
I added the Autism Awareness stickers to the radio, in case Thomas is approached by anyone or needs to make them aware of his condition. It just a quick added visual for the general public.
The handset is fairly small, no display to distract from its main function and is easy t use (even little hands) Volume is loud and clear as is the microphone. You can set up CTCSS and DTS to keep out interference as needed. You can also enable VOX (voice operated PTT) if needed.
My idea is now to share radios with friends and neighbours in the street to help keep an eye on Thomas, but it also goes the other way around that we can keep an eye on the other children in the area.
In the video below we try and act out a scenario where the radio could be put to good use.
We have "Lost Thomas" and he is not responding to his radio, we call the other's to help look and find Thomas, quickly and safely.@theRSGB @Autism @NiAutistic #autism #hamradio #ProjectThomaswatch @chertseyRC @KangaSales pic.twitter.com/cqHXmSqKMc— Chertsey Radio Club (@chertseyRC) July 24, 2017
Here we have Thomas (11) with a quick update on his projectThis is a quick update from Thomas using #ProjectThomaswatch @NiAutistic @Autism @KangaSales @rsgb https://t.co/0RFOfX7z7D pic.twitter.com/EJpBZZAHGa— Chertsey Radio Club (@chertseyRC) July 24, 2017
This is a quick video From Thomas's Brother Leo (5) on how he likes the projectThis is a quick update from Leo using #ProjectThomaswatch @NiAutistic @Autism @KangaSales @rsgb https://t.co/0RFOfX7z7D pic.twitter.com/SpBbptdeZY— Chertsey Radio Club (@chertseyRC) July 24, 2017
This is Oscar Thomas's eldest Brother (8) with his update on the projectThis is a quick update from Oscar using #ProjectThomaswatch @NiAutistic @Autism @KangaSales @rsgb https://t.co/0RFOfX7z7D pic.twitter.com/plLowhuMj4— Chertsey Radio Club (@chertseyRC) July 24, 2017
I have recently spoken to OFCOM and they have advised that we can get a simple uk business license which would cover the whole of the UK for £75 for 5 years (£15 / year) and allow all people with autism to be able to use the radios without any additional cost or without breaking the licensing laws.
For more information please reach out to us at the club firstname.lastname@example.org
We are able to supply and program the radio's at cost price and help advise of licenses for your organisation or group.
Chertsey radio club is holding a raffle to help fund the License needed to give to the National Autistic society, please follow the link for more information and to buy a ticket for just £1.