The CAN card was created to provide families with a quiet, dignified way to let participating businesses know you’re an Autism family to ensure proper service and support. You can obtain your CAN card at Town Hall of Surfside Beach, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the Visitor Center in baggage claim at the Myrtle Beach Airport or contact us for a card.
Families—To ensure you are supported, we have developed the CAN card. The CAN card is a simple and dignified way for you to identify your family as one that has someone with autism, without needing to say a word. Participating restaurants, hotels and venues have been trained in needs and understand there may be special requests and accommodations. For instance, when going to a participating restaurant, show your CAN card to the hostess or server. Without a word, these restaurants understand where to seat you and 1) you may have to leave at a moment’s notice 2) you may be bringing special food for a member of your family 3) you may have special requests when ordering and 4) your family member with Autism may have troubles sitting still, not make eye contact and may be non-verbal and are committed to helping you have an enjoyable meal.
• What are the benefits to being an autism-friendly business? Families with members on the autism spectrum are traditionally a loyal population. People with autism like familiar surroundings. If they like your business, you can be sure they will return. And, if someone treats us right, you can be CERTAIN that that news will spread.
• What are the costs involved in becoming autism-friendly? Costs to train your staff to be autism aware and friendly are nominal. Contact us today to schedule your training.
• What does the training entail? We have partnered with South Carolina Interventionists and Bee Sharp Professional Training to produce and administer the training program. The program consists of an onsite walk-through and meeting with management, employee autism awareness seminars, and ongoing support.
I have a new appreciation for CAN, those with autism, and the families that deal with this disorder on a daily basis. Again, thank you for helping me understand more about the disease and how I, as an individual, can “lead with love.
- Debra Herrmann, The Town of Surfside Beach Town Clerk