Friday, March 2, 2012

Training First Responders to Help Those with Autism Is Mission Close to Fire Captain's Heart

An amazing job by the Today show. Such an important topic and only wish Capt. Cannata could help educate other first responders, including the police, about helping people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

WESTWOOD, Mass. -- As an experienced firefighter and a devoted father to an autistic son, Bill Cannata is combining the two worlds he knows so well to help protect others.
Being in a fire can be confusing and overwhelming -- especially for someone with autism, says Cannata, a fire captain in Westwood, Mass. And autistic people may react in a way that seems combative to emergency first responders. His mission: teaching first responders around the country how to identify someone with autism and how best to help them in an emergency, when every second counts.
Cannata knows about autism first-hand: His 21-year-old son, Ted, who has the disorder, is unable to speak and is highly sensitive to sight, sound and touch.

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