DPS to offer autism awareness training for first responders

MGN Online
Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 9:35am

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Office of State Fire Marshal will host a training seminar designed to better decuate law enforcement and other first responders on how to interact with and effectively communicate with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The seminar will be held at the Pennington Biomedical Research Facility in Baton Rouge on Thursday, April 24th. Participation in the seminar is limited to first responders.

ASD is the fastest growing neurobiological condition in the world with numbers rising over the last 60 years. There are now more families living with ASD than ever before. In the United States, 1 in 50 American children will have ASD.

Autism impairs a person's ability to communicate and relate to others. It is also associated with routines and repetitive behaviors, such as obssessively arranging objects or following specific routines.

Symptoms can range from very mild to quite severe.

People with ASD are more likely to have a 911 encounter than a typical person.

The number of responses is increasing nationwide at an alarming rate. These calls can be high risk calls for the responder and a person with ASD. Injuries and in some calls, death has resulted due to the lack of understanidng about a person with ASD.

This seminar will provide first responders with an overview of ASD, growth rates, theories, common characteristics, effective communication methods, behavioral symptoms, sensory issues, and some practical skills on how to effectively interact and respond to an emergency involving a person with ASD. 

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