Law Enforcement and Autism: Why it’s an Issue and What to Do

People with autism commonly come in contact with law enforcement and first responders for a number of reasons, and are five times more likely to be incarcerated than the general population according to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Training for first responders on autism on how to interact with individuals with an autism diagnosis is critical,” said Scott Badesch, former president/CEO of Autism Society of America. “Effective training creates a productive partnership among those impacted by autism and first responders to assure the safety and well-being of all.” Continue Reading →

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Autism Training in Law Enforcement and the Call to Action

By Carol S. Weinman, Esq., C.A.S., National Speaker and Author

The willing desire to work together in unraveling the puzzle of autism is growing among law enforcement. The number of calls I receive to present on the topic of autism and police training increases every day. The reason: law enforcement officers want to better understand the complex mindset of those with autism spectrum disorder and more importantly, learn how to interact with them.

Hardly a month goes by anymore when the media isn’t reporting about someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who is arrested or has an unfortunate police encounter. That’s because what appears to be suspicious or criminal activity is behavior characteristic of an individual with ASD. So, how can a police officer know the difference? Well, the first step in prevention of these traumatic incidents among police officers and the ASD community is education.

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