“Meet the Police”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an average of 1 in 54 children in the U.S. have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. These challenges often present unique safety risks, which may increase the chance of encounters with police and other first responders. The purpose of this guide is to help caregivers enhance the quality of search-and-rescue response and interactions between their loved one with ASD and members of law enforcement.
National Autism Association’s “Meet the Police” safety initiative is a free, downloadable toolkit for individuals with autism, parents or caregivers who are concerned about their loved one’s safety in the community. The purpose of this program is to help enhance the quality of interactions between individuals with autism and members of law enforcement.
The toolkit includes steps you can take to establish trusting relationships, reduce confusion and fear, and encourage opportunities for law enforcement agencies to get to know members of their community who may be at increased risk due to behaviors commonly associated with autism.