Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How to Enforce Law and Recognize Autism

SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- The news clip that trainer Brian Herritt played for his class Thursday began with grainy surveillance footage of an autistic 11-year-old boy handcuffed in the back of a squad car, screaming and beating his head on the Plexiglas divider until officers restrained him by buckling his seat belt.
Then, a clip of his mother alleging that police in Levonia, Mich., had mistreated her severely autistic son.
"What did those officers do wrong?" Herritt asked the approximately 25 regional law enforcement officers taking his three-hour course on recognizing and responding to people with autism.
The officers ---- from agencies that included the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and the Carlsbad and Escondido police departments ---- pondered the question for a few seconds.

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