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Dispatcher creating comfort kits for children with autism

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    CANNON COUNTY, Tennessee (WSMV) — It’s the sign of an emergency: Loud sirens and flashing lights — but these scenes can be overwhelming for a child with autism.

“Sometimes you don’t even know until the responders arrives on scene, but sometimes we will be told by the caller that there is a someone on scene who is autistic,” said Hannah Herron, Cannon County 911 dispatcher.

Herron says receiving calls related to children with autism inspired her to provide a sense of comfort beyond the telephone.

”I heard a lot about these different items you can use in emergency situations and I realized our county didn’t have anything like that,” Herron said.

So she decided to create comfort kits.

Herron reached out to her stepmom who teaches students with learning differences.

“Weighted blankets tend to give a big hug. Having the noise cancelling headphones would be fabulous in a situation where they are hearing the radio and maybe there are sirens in the background,” said Rose Freeman, teacher at Currey Ingram Academy.

So far, the kits have been donated to first responders in Cannon County.

“Hopefully these kits will help in some small way,” Herron said. “Our first responders be able to comfort and provide a sense of peace.”

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