Whether the child or adult with autism is dependent on others for care and safety or is able to navigate the community independently, their contact with police and public safety professionals is often high risk, confusing, and a challenge for all involved. Research indicates that people with autism will have a higher rate of contact with law enforcement agencies and that these contacts are often predictable. For example, when the less independent child or adult wanders dangerously away from around-the-clock care, or when calls for assistance come from parents, caregivers, and educators about the child or adult prone to tantrums and meltdowns that now result in an aggressive physical confrontation at home or on campus. These contacts hold the real potential of injury or death, for the use of force and subsequent arrest and criminal or civil charges. Police and public safety agencies throughout North America are now embracing training and creative information gathering programs for the emergency call center (911) that help increase officer and citizen safety, make more effective use of time and resources, improve communications in the field, and provide for improved management of autism, related field contacts in a safe, fair, and effective manner. This session will explore police training room strategies and identify proactive partnership opportunities between the autism and police communities that enhance the understanding of autism for police and enhance citizen education of the roles and responsibilities of police and public safety professionals.
August 6 – 9, 2018
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
State College, Pennsylvania