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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Training ASD People for Police Encounters

Previous posts have described training for police in dealing with autistic people. At The Los Angeles Times, Sandy Banks describes training in the other direction:
Emily Iland spent decades advocating for her 30-year-old son, who has autism, his own apartment, a college degree and an accounting career.
Now, as part of the Autism Society of Los Angeles, Iland is trying to make sure young people like him, pushing for independence, don't wind up as law enforcement statistics.
Since 2007, Iland has been trying to teach Los Angeles Police Department officers how to recognize and interact with people who have autism spectrum disorders. Now she's trying to teach people with autism what to do if they are stopped by police:
Don't run or reach into your pocket. Stay calm. Show them your hands. If you're handcuffed or put into a patrol car, be quiet, be patient, be still. If you're arrested, tell the officers you have a disability and ask to talk to a lawyer.
Those are the basics of Iland's "Be Safe" campaign, which includes a DVD starring young people with autism role-playing police encounters, and a guidebook for parents, teachers and counselors.