Gaida Crosbie and Joshua Lemmens are the creative minds behind SNEP.ca, a site dedicated to helping those with cognitive disabilities, and their loved ones, prepare for a crisis or emergency situation. Submitted

Hope couple launches website dedicated to help with special needs emergency preparedness

Timed with Autism Awareness month, SNEP.ca launched in early April

It all started with an orange a decade ago.

Joshua Lemmens, while sitting in a cafe in downtown Hope, recalls the day he visited a friend whose autistic adult son became entangled in a police conflict while a bystander.

Arms flailing, the man refused to listen to police orders and both Lemmens and his friend, the man’s mother, worried for his safety.

“She said please don’t shoot, and went back into the house and came out with an orange … and his sole focus went on to this orange, and he was just peeling it” and it totally defused the situation.

The orange, says Lemmens, was a positive trigger for the man, and “positive triggers are really important in emergency preparedness.”

It’s those sorts of tips that are on SNEP.ca, a recently launched website created by Lemmens and his wife, Giada Crosbie, to assist people with cognitive disabilities, or their loved ones, with special needs emergency preparedness (SNEP).

“Over the years, I’ve realized there’s such a massive gap for emergency preparedness for special needs individuals, and this includes people with dementia or Alzheimer’s, people within the autism spectrum, and people with cognitive disabilities,” explained Lemmens, who’s lived in Hope since 1994. “Addicts are also people with special needs, and they’re often overlooked and forgotten about.”

So six months ago, Crosbie says she began designing the website, to which they now both contribute content: bit by bit, the duo are filling the site with “exciting and practical information that will help with preparedness for family members and caregivers of people with special needs.” Lemmens is producing informative videos and photos, while Crosbie is writing articles and creating their online presence.

“It would be great if we lived in an idyllic world where nobody ever used our advice,” Crosbie continued, “but we don’t live in that world. So we try to look at everything that encompasses special needs emergency preparedness.”

“And Giada comes at it from a perspective of knowing how to help somebody with autism because she was there,” Lemmens added.

At the age of three-and-a-half, Crosbie, who was non-verbal at the time, was diagnosed as autistic. “I know what it’s like to be in a situation where you don’t have that awareness and what shutdown and stuff is like, so I’m bringing that to SNEP.”

Their personal connections to autism are also part of the reason why the couple decided to launch their website at the beginning of April: April 2 is when Autism Awareness month kicked off. “We just thought it was such good timing, and that we’d really hone in by offering additional articles about autism throughout the month (because) we wanted to show our support.”

For more information, or to learn how you can help a loved one with cognitive disabilities prepare for an emergency, please visit SNEP.ca.


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@HopeStandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s Philomusica Chorus offers Mother’s Day music

Songs include Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Sentimental Journey at spring concert

Chilliwack driver busted with heroin after nodding off behind the wheel

29-year-old man from Vancouver facing possible charges

Vancouver TheatreSports finishes off Harrison’s Season of Performing Arts

Vancovuer TheatreSports will be performing in Harrison on May 4

Job market to remain tight in coming years: report

Conference Board of Canada predicts region’s unemployment rate to remain below five per cent

First rezoning of Chilliwack location approved for cannabis store

The Industrial Way location fits criteria council wanted like distance from schools and parks

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through town in B.C.’s interior

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Port Moody mayor accused of sexual assault has first court appearance

Rob Vagramov’s case was adjourned to May 29

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

Handcrafted paper gowns on display in Vancouver

Langara students designs inspired by esigners such as Versace, Dior and Gucci

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

Most Read