Archive for the ‘First Responders’ Category

Improving Interactions Between Police and People with Autism

A man stands among an aisle at a store. He doesn’t talk with anyone or interfere with their shopping, but he’s making the store’s employees uncomfortable, nonetheless. He picks up a product from the shelf, examines it closely, and returns it to its original place. He repeats the process again...

First Responders Promote Awareness and Training Through the Autism Patch Challenge

A simple idea to bring autism awareness to the New Rochelle Police Department and the City of New Rochelle, NY, has since spread to over 350 first responder agencies around the United States, and continues to grow with each passing month. On February 7, 2017, I made an appointment to meet with...

Researchers Explore Virtual Reality to Build Crucial Social and Safety Skills

Those in the autism community are familiar with missed social connections, but misunderstood behaviors have the potential to escalate quickly during interactions with law enforcement. A recent study1 found that 1 in 5 young adults with ASD will be stopped and questioned by police before age 21 and...

Autism and Law Enforcement: Training, and When to Say No

This article aims to stimulate discussion concerning the balance between teaching individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to trust law enforcement to keep them safe, and the need to interact with those same professionals in a way that preserves their rights. [caption id="attachment_1065"...

Autism, Law Enforcement and Disclosure: Advice from Twenty Years in the Training Room

Advice for the autism community from law enforcement professionals at training sessions over the past twenty years in training facilities throughout the US, Canada and elsewhere is very consistent: accurate autism information, even when generic in nature, will inform their response. Information...

Both Individuals with Autism and Law Enforcement Benefit from Training

Children and adults with autism, like others, may in their childhood or adulthood experience encounters with law enforcement. This may occur when the child/adult with autism discloses abuse or their abuse is witnessed or suspected and reported for investigation. At this sensitive point in their...

Helping Individuals in Emergency Situations Starts with First Responder Training

Emergency situations are by their nature often unpredictable. Accompanying many of these situations are unfamiliar sounds, sights, and smells. For many people, the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty of these types of situations can be overwhelming. For individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum...

Helping First Responders to Understand and Assist Individuals with Autism in Emergency Situations

Children and adults with autism engage in many challenging behaviors, many of which pose safety concerns. These concerns can increase the likelihood they will interface with police officers and other first responders. In fact, individuals with autism are seven times more likely to encounter the...

Walking the Safety Tightrope: The Intersection of Law Enforcement and Loved Ones with Disability

The incidence of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder has increased 4,000 percent over recent decades throughout the world. The chances of law enforcement encountering a person with a disability is 7 times more likely to happen compared to the general population. For those empowered to serve and...

Autism Training for First Responders: A Lesson in Safety

The public asks a tremendous amount from our first responders. As we run away from danger, they are the ones who run in. Without hesitation they put themselves in the line of danger every day, and we as a society are forever grateful for their dedication to our welfare and to their potential...