Thursday, August 4, 2011

Autism and Police: Improving Interactions

Tales of sour interactions between police and people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) appear to be trending. Last month in Tampa Bay, an autistic teen was killed by police who were called to his home on a domestic disturbance call. Earlier this year, an autistic teen in Virginia was found guilty for assaulting a police officer.
As to why these incidents are increasing, autism advocate Dennis Debbaudt has two theories:
Firstly, diagnosis rates are up. Secondly, “back in the late ’60s, ‘early 70s, most people with autism, developmental disabilities, mental illness were living in institutions,” Debbaudt says. “Those days are long over.”

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