In New London, CT, Erica Moser at The Day:
First in a line of several cars in the Fitch High School parking lot on a rainy morning, a driver was in what would otherwise be an odd circumstance: He was waiting for a cop to pull him over.
But he and about a dozen others showed up Saturday specifically for that reason.
Southern Connecticut State University’s Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders teamed up with police departments to hold mock traffic stops for autistic people.
“We know our individuals with autism benefit not just to see something happen but to actually practice, and of course traffic stops make us all nervous,” said Kari Sassu, director of strategic initiatives for the center. But on top of that, she noted that people on the spectrum may have sensory issues associated with lights or sirens, or fear having broken a rule.
Southern held this kind of event on campus last fall and this spring, but Saturday was the first time the center held it elsewhere in Connecticut.
After going through a mock stop and pulling over again to complete a brief survey, Derek Regenauer, 25, said he thought it went well, and that he came because he wanted to have a better understanding of what to do if he got pulled over. His mother, Kara Regenauer, said they had gone to one of the events at Southern but “repetition is good.”