AUTISM Training for LAW ENFORCEMENT

Emily has been dedicated to the issue of Safety for more than a decade. This is an issue that needs a two-sided approach: Training for law enforcement and training youth with autism and similar disabilities to interact safely with police. In response to this need she developed two evidence-based programs: Experience Autism® is for law enforcement and first responders. BE SAFE The Movie is for youth, families, educators and school resource officers.

Experience Autism® is a unique hands-on experiential learning workshop to help police and first responders understand and respond to individuals with ASD. Originally designed for the Los Angeles Police Department Experience Autism® is now available via consulting contract to law enforcement agencies across the country.  Independent research (in press) shows that our simulation activities increase knowledge. The research also verifies that our training helps officers feel more prepared to interact with individuals with autism.

Experience Autism® is based on simulation activities that help police understand the different features of ASD. They can draw upon these insights to determine how to most effectively interact with individuals on the spectrum. Experience Autism® can be expanded to include firefighters and medical personnel. It can be adapted or customized to create awareness of diverse disabilities.

Other accomplishments and collaborations in the area of police/safety include:

  • Serving as a subject matter expert (SME) to help create the Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Autism Awareness DVD that was provided at no charge to all law enforcement agencies in the state of California in 2010.
  • Founding C.L.E.A.R, Community and Law Enforcement Aware Response. CLEAR is a collaborative in Santa Clarita, CA to reduce criminal involvement of people with disabilities and help law enforcement officials be informed in their response to people with special needs.
  • Creating and serving as administrator for the Special Needs Registry. This safety tool for residents served by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Santa Clarita Station helps deputies assist individuals with any kind of disability, find the missing and reunite lost individuals with caregivers. The SNR was recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as a Model for the nation.
  • Authoring the Los Angeles Police Department autism awareness training, which is integrated into the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. Over the past ten years Emily has personally trained more than 3,000 L.A.P.D. officers, and has trained other volunteers who trained thousands more. The L.A.P.D Police Commission has honored Emily twice for her contribution to this effort.

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