A New Tool To Help Police Tailor A Response To Those With Special Needs

Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips
19 Jun 2015

If you have a child with autism or other developmental disability make sure to find out if your community has this tool available. This amazing resource is already at people’s service in Brunswick, Maine, since three years ago. Call your local police department to find out.

How to deal with a temper tantrum?

It is a new tool to help police tailor a response to those with special needs.

Parents may choose to register their children and give their local police department information about their child’s disability. So, by calling the Non-Emergency police line for help from The department of Developmental Disabilities Database, a note will pop on the screen regarding the medical issues and/or meltdowns of the registered child. Accordingly, the dispatcher will send a trained officer to handle the situation.

Usually, law enforcement personnel put suspects in “safe hold” if they walk away or make no eye contact. They consider it an aggression/offense toward authority. This can trigger a huge meltdown to an individual with autism, let alone the noise of the siren and the glow of the red and blue flashing lights.

Now officers in Brunswick are trained in the police academy to handle circumstances where individuals on the autism spectrum are involved. They know how to calm them down, befriend them, and most importantly, not to scare them away. They know that people with autism have communication issues, sensory issues, social interaction issues, and some of them are non-verbal.

The great advantage of this tool is that your child’s records will not follow him in the future. Besides, parents are free to take the medical information off the records at any time they wish to do so.

Some 30 to 40 families in Brunswick, Maine, are currently using this huge resource.

Source: disabilityscoop,Beth Brogan, Bangor Daily News/TNS June 18, 2015

Find out if police department in your community provides this wonderful tool.

nadia shanab

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