Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Responders Get a Lesson in Autism

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Bill Cannata a Captain with the Westwood MA Fire Department conducted a training session for the New Rochelle Fire Department to teach New Rochelle's first responders how to to identify persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how best to help them in an emergency. The session one of several he is providing this week to the different shifts. His fire/rescue autism program has educated more than 15,000 first responders.
Cannata explained how people with ASD may react to an emergency situation by getting out of control, acting aggressive, or simply shutting down -- they may walk back into a burning building, run away or assault rescue personnel. He provided examples including several based on his son Ted who is a 21-year old with autism.

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