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Carter Kits Sensory Bags an additional tool to help bridge gap between first responders and children, especially those with special needs

FRAKENMUTH, Mich. – First responders often find themselves in situations where loud noises and chaos trigger fear into the very people they’re trying to help. These traumatic encounters can be especially difficult when there is a child or adult on scene with special needs, like autism.

Carter Kits were born after Saginaw, Michigan detective Justin Severs saw a need to help children, like his own, be better cared for during this sensory overload. His son, 6-year old Carter Severs, has autism spectrum disorder. He wanted officers and other first responders to have a tool to help calm children in these situations.

Justin began working with friends to put this together. Brandon Hausbeck, a Saginaw-area firefighter, and Andrew Keller, a Realtor, devised a plan with help of autism experts to put sensory bags together called Carter Kits. They partnered with Dr. Ellen Preen, a clinical neuropsychologist from Connecticut with professional and personal experience to provide medical and clinical insight to the usefulness of items included in Carter Kits. Inside the sensory bags, first responders will find a weighted blanket, noise-canceling headphones, sunglasses, fidget toys and a non-verbal cue card.

To date, more than 200 Carter Kits are deployed to departments in more than 20 states. Several departments are purchasing the kits with available funds and grants while others are looking to the community for private donations.

Soon, valuable information about the impact of the kits and how to deploy them on scene will be available via webinars.

To learn more and see local/national media coverage on Carter Kits, visit