I’ve spent a lot of time lately reviewing products related to elopement and resources for families. Bolting, running, elopement, and wandering are one of the most challenging behaviors for families, in my experience. They cause a high level of stress in the home and in the community settings and may lead to injury, or even death, for an individual.
In reviewing the article on William LaFever and his experiences in Utah, one thing that jumps off the page is that search and rescue professionals were trained to work with individuals with autism. Ray Gardner shared that he never thought he would use the training, but it was offered. In so many communities, that’s half the battle.
A child with autism, or an adult for that matter, may not respond in the expected way to almost any emergency. Fire departments, police departments, and emergency responders should have access to quality training on autism.
Below is a list of trainings and information that I was able to locate for emergency responders and other safety officials. Please feel free to pass along those resources available in your own communities.
First Responders (Fire, Police, Search Teams, Rescue)
- Fire/Rescue-Autism Training, Bill Cannata
- Life’s WORC, Brian Goldman (Information can be found through this link directly).
- Autism Alliance for Local Emergency Responder Training
- Avoiding Unfortunate Situations, Dennis Debbaudt
- The Law Enforcement Awareness Network
- The Autism and Law Enforcement Education Coalition
- Autism Risk and Safety Management, Dennis Debbaudt
- Community and Law Enforcement Aware Response
- Autism 101 for Fire and Rescue
- Kind Find: Keeping Spectrum Kids Safe
- Emergency EMS Tips
- Fire & Rescue Tips
9-1-1 Call Centers
- Autism Speaks offers information for 9-1-1 call centers specifically.
- Autism Speaks offers information and documents for free, such as sample emergency plans.