How to report missing persons with neurological differences respectfully.

Update: The Toronto Police Service is now removing missing person posts from people who are found alive. There will be more exciting news regarding Toronto’s missing person program. I will keep you posted.

Here is a statement from the Toronto Police Service:

“As of January 2019 Toronto Police is removing all missing person posts and located social media posts. We are in the process of going back in time from January 2019 deleting posts. The posts that Toronto Police made only are the ones that can be deleted by Toronto Police. The former missing person will have to contact the originators of other posts for removal.

Once removed an officer will email the person directly the deleted posts. They will also submit the links of posts removed to Google for removal from Google Search.

If the problem persists and the former missing person is unable to get the others deleted at source, the former missing person can call the police non emergency line and the police can try to assist.”

Art by Nicole Corrado

Originally posted here under the pseudonym Elsa Matawan.

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare; a loved one goes missing, and we fear for their safety. The stakes are even higher when the person has autism, or a developmental difference. When dealing with people with special needs, these unique sets of challenges open up an ethical debate over how to report the person. How much, if at all, do you reveal the challenges while maintaining the privacy rights of the person? Here are some tips on how to balance safety with respect.

Photos. Use as mature a photo as possible. Crop only the person’s face in the photo. Items in the photo are distracting, and should be cropped out. Government issued ID is preferred.

Disclosing disability. How to disclose special needs is a constant debate. How a person’s needs are disclosed is a personal matter, potentially affecting employment, and other aspects of…

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