Recently in the news, a therapist, Charles Kinsey, was shot by the police while trying to aid a young man with autism. This brings up many different important discussion topics which got us at Our Stars Inc. thinking about safety between law enforcement/first responders and people on the autism spectrum.
Below we have compiled a listing that will be beneficial for caregivers of those on the spectrum, those on the autism spectrum and law enforcement/first responders.
QUICK TIPS for parents, guardians, and caregivers:
– DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
If your community has local community safety fairs, you will definitely want to participate in these to learn who your local police, fire fighters and other law enforcement workers are. If they know who you are they will be more likely to know you during any situation that may arise.
– REGISTER YOUR FAMILY ON Smart 911
It always helps to be prepared and have 911 know about your family beforehand so they will be able to inform local law enforcement of who you are. Don’t have Smart 911 in your area, visit here.
– PRACTICE SAFETY PROCEDURES
“According to the advocacy group Autism Unites, people with autism spectrum disorders are seven times more likely to interact with police over their lifetimes, compared with people without a cognitive disorder.” (NPR)
If your community has any seminars where the local law enforcement is willing to interact with people on the autism spectrum to practice safety procedures sign up today if you haven’t already.
Basically, you’ll want to make sure that local law enforcement knows your family and your situation.
QUICK TIPS for Caregivers and Those on the Autism Spectrum:
– REMAIN AS CALM AS YOU CAN
This is going to be a highly stressful situation whether you’re in a calm environment or a chaotic environment. If at all possible, relax and remain calm.
– DON’T MAKE ANY SUDDEN MOVEMENTS
No running, no reaching! Sudden movements may aggravate the situation. Announce when you need to reach for something and talk your way through it the entire time if you can.
– NEVER TOUCH A POLICE OFFICERS WEAPON or ANY law enforcement’s equipment
This is self-explanatory but this could lead to a struggle and a misunderstanding which can result into a serious unfortunate outcome. Keep your hands to yourself.
More QUICK IMPORTANT TIPS for Law Enforcement, Caregivers and those on the Autism Spectrum:
– Check Out This Petition (The Autism Site)
Here’s a petition that can be signed today to help encourage the Attroney General to require that law enforcement get autism training
– Tips for Law Enforcement Responders (Officer)
– Interacting with Law Enforcement (Autism Speaks)
– Information About Restraining Someone (Spirit of Autism)
If you’re looking for Home Safety, Wandering and Elopement try this link.