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Debbault Seminar

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Autism Risk Management

Autism Risk Management

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  • Transcript

    • 1. Autism & Law Enforcement A Parent Workshop: Recognizing and Reducing Risk for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders Ft. Worth, Texas June 28, 2003 Tarrant County-ASA
    • 2. Objectives
      • Discuss why law enforcement & first response professionals need to recognize autism.
      • Discuss characteristics commonly seen in individuals with autism.
      • Identify the risks associated with autism
      • Explain the problems that a person with autism may have in criminal justice/emergency situations.
      • Discuss ways that individuals with autism, their families, and organizations are working with law enforcement agencies and school districts.
    • 3. Why should law enforcement professionals recognize autism in field situations?
      • To better serve and protect vulnerable members of the community
      • Make the best use of their valuable time and resources
      • Avoid litigation
    • 4.
      • May be nonverbal (50%) or repeat what officer says
      • May not respond to STOP command
      • Echoes words and phrases
      • Often appear as deaf
      • May have difficulty recognizing/repairing breakdowns in communication
      • May not recognize uniform, badge or vehicle or understand what is expected of them if they do
      Concerns for Law Enforcement/Emergency Professionals
      • Public Safety & Criminal Justice Issues
      • Sensory input may produce seizure, panic or flight reaction
      • May not react well to changes in routine, encounter with strangers
      • Associated medical conditions
      • Fascination with water and other glimmering objects
      • May fear dress out uniform
      • May lack fear of real dangers
    • 5. Behaviors & characteristics commonly seen in people having autism.
      • Argumentative, stubborn, or belligerent
      • May answer “NO” or “WHY” to everything
      • May be poor listeners
      • Monotone voice with unusual pronunciations
      • May be unable to give information
      • Very honest, not tactful, blunt
      • May not respond to “STOP”, may run away
      • May cover ears and look away from speaker
      • Sensory sensitivity to touch , lights, sounds, odors, animals
      • May have seizures
      • High pain threshold
      • May not recognize danger
      • Inappropriate laughing or giggling
      • May exhibit hand flapping, body rocking, stands too close or too far away, socially inappropriate body language
    • 6. Autism’s High Risks
      • Behaviors draw attention
      • At risk of misunderstandings by public, increased 911 responses
      • Accompanying medical condition, such as: seizure, asthma, hypotonia
      • Do not react well in emergencies, for instance, not know what to do, how to seek help, have high pain tolerance, may flee, attempt to re-enter, touch downed lines or flail against medical procedures
      • Caregiver unprepared to interact with first responders
      • Perfect victims
      • Restraint
      • Believable as offender; lack credibility as witness
    • 7. Circumstances when first responders might come in contact with a person having autism
      • In response to a medical emergency.
      • In response to a call for assistance.
        • Calls for assistance commonly involve missing children, caregiver actions, retail settings and schools.
        • Can occur anywhere in the community
    • 8. Common reasons for assistance calls
      • Person is acting out and no one recognizes him
      • Parent or caregiver actions misinterpreted
      • Running into traffic, entered homes of others, looking into windows of homes
      • Rearranging or making order of store displays
      • Following or approaching strangers
      • Behavior has become escalated at home, school or in community settings
      • Caregiver becomes incapacitated
      • Medical emergency, fire or natural disaster--person is alone & upset at scene
    • 9. Elopement, Runners, Lost & Wandering
      • Top reason for law enforcement contact
      • Often seek water sources
      • Attempted entries
      • Run into traffic
      • Go with/run from strangers
      • Alzheimer’s parallel
      • May be seeking special treatment
      • Elopement prevention & care may look like abuse
    • 10. Forms of identification & informational handouts used by person with autism or caregiver
      • ID card with name, address, phone numbers
      • Photo-ID and/or fingerprint card
      • ID bracelet or necklace (like Medic-Alert)
      • Clothing tags with name and phone numbers
      • GPS & RF tracking technology
      • Information sheets with name, address, phone
        • Photo, physical description, likes/dislikes
        • Favorite places to go, type of disability
        • Best way to communicate
    • 11. 911 Red Flag
      • Understand & consider risks of autism for all first response professionals-police, fire, EMT, ER, 911
      • Flag with key data
      • Alert first responders
      • Offer to community proactively
      • Positive PR
      • The South Central Indiana Chapter of the Autism Society
    • 12. Suggested responses for law enforcement to use with a person having autism
      • Approach in a non-threatening manner
      • Avoid pointing or waving. Maintain calm body language. Keep hands down.
      • Talk calmly and/or repeat
      • Ask if person has autism and for ID card
      • Allow for delayed response time
      • Avoid slang expressions
      • Avoid touching, if possible (may be sensitive).
      • Consider communication methods
      • If possible,contact caregiver immediately
    • 13. Fire, Emergency Response & ER Their time is valuable: having person wait, even if for minor injuries, may increase length and intensity of initial response
      • Listen to and seek information from caregiver
      • Ambulance & ER trappings increase sensory input
      • New environments increase anxiety
      • Consider sensory diet overload
      • Upgrade triage? Best use of valuable time & resources
      • In ER, seek consultation or quiet room
      • Let person settle down and become comfortable
      • Proactively work with first response community-police, firefighters, EMT, ambulance, ER
    • 14. Is sensory over-stimulation a factor? Look for outward behaviors. Move person to a quiet place. Calm creates calm .
      • Sirens
      • Lights
      • K-9 Partner
      • Odors
      • Equipment
      • Touch
      • Geographic containment
      • Restraint as last resort
      • Avoid face down take down
      • Release to safe space
      • Consider buffers
      • Be alert to seizure, asthma
      • Other medical conditions
      • Hypotonia risks
    • 15. Arrest & Incarceration
      • Document autism in initial report
      • Attempt to resolve at scene
      • Continue communication and de-escalation techniques, model calm behavior
      • Be alert to unknown medical condition & medication requirements
      • Consider medical evaluation
      • Alert supervisor, prosecutor and mental health professional for immediate evaluation
      • Alert jail authorities --person is at risk in general population
      • Contact caregivers
    • 16. Interview & Interrogation
      • Mid to high end of spectrum
      • Eye contact
      • Lack of body language awareness
      • Skills decrease
      • Blunt, evasive, answers unconnected to matter at hand
      • Will arouse officer instincts
      • Guileless v. trickery/deceit
      • Sophisticated echolalia
      • Authority figure/friend
      • Concrete thinker easily misled
      • Usually poor liars--test for lying skills
    • 17. Tips for Interviewers
      • Seek advice of prosecutor
      • Consider contacting a specialist
      • Be sure person understands legal rights. Saying yes is not the same as understanding
      • Avoid confusion. Ask questions that rely on narrative
      • Ask series of unrelated yes/no questions to determine style & dependability
      • Follow gut instincts-- if statement/confession is too good to be true, it probably is
    • 18. Situations where people with autism may be perfect victims
      • Disability harassment--teasing, bullying & torment
      • Street crimes--bad guys select perfect victims
      • Gangs
      • Hate crimes
      • Adult care
      • Sex crimes
      • Restraint techniques
      • Victim-witness interviews
    • 19. Victim-Witness Interviews
      • Preparation--discuss with prosecutor
      • Seek records
      • Interview others with knowledge away from scene
      • Establish/look for patterns of abuse
      • Consider two victim interviews
      • Leave your feelings at the door
      • Videotape? May induce guilty plea
      • Avoid authority clothes; relaxed venue, short time spans
      • Do words have same meaning?
      • Establish alternative timelines-personal schedule
      • Be alert to fatigue
      • Pre-test for truth telling
    • 20. Proactive Options
      • 911 Flagging
      • Develop & carry handout
      • Know your neighbors
      • Recognize risks associated with having autism
      • Form partnerships for recognition and response
      • Cross educate law enforcers and students who have autism
    • 21. Educational Partnerships
      • Deliver early, often, suited to age and ability, through IEP
      • May run, have difficulty adjusting to new situations
      • Fear of uniform, badges, equipment,vehicles
      • Demystify responders
      • Police/first responders are moms, dads and neighbors
      • Don’t run from safe, go to people
      • Learn constitutional right to remain silent & ask for attorney
      • How to call for or seek help
      • Not make sudden movements
      • How to remain calm
      • Carry & show ID
      • Through mock interviews
      • Reduce stress of sudden encounters
      • Consider video for visual learners
      • Learn from each other how to recognize and respond
      • Cross-develop key skills applied throughout careers & lifetimes
    • 22. Programs
      • Community policing philosophy & programs
      • 911 Red Flags
      • Task forces
      • Establish CIT, or multi-jurisdictional investigative unit? Consider first any interested volunteers, experienced personnel, rotate & educate others
      • Identify issues & establish two-way communications, work through barriers
      • Improve citizen & law enforcement recognition and response
    • 23. Summary
      • Law enforcement officers/emergency response professionals can enhance public safety & officer safety and potentially reduce their own exposure to liability when we help them:
        • recognize risks associated with autism
        • apply tolerance and public relation skills in situations with people that may have autism
        • know best ways to get information from people with autism, and assistance from families, caseworkers, and organizations
    • 24. ????Questions????
    • 25.
      • Thank You for Being a Great Audience!! Contact Information: Dennis Debbaudt ddpi @flash.net 772-398-9756 http://policeandautism.cjb.net/ http://www.autismriskmanagement.com/