This is a huge concern to me. My son is one to become aggressive and his cognition drops dramatically when confronted or in a stressful situation. The fact that this happened in a church is also distressing. Our church is huge, but yet the pastoral staff and the regular staff make a concerted effort to KNOW the children involved in the Special Blessings program (group for children with dissabilities).
I think it's a cop-out (pun intended) for a police department to give a blanket statement that they cannot learn to differentiate 'all' dissabilities. A few courses or simply an interest in the community they serve is enough to learn the basics of autism. Going to a local highschool where autistic children are educated to see them and how they behave and interact with adults and nuerotypical peers would work wonders.
Autism is a very real and prevalent disorder in out society now. It's important for the people who serve and protect to understand how to serve and protect all members of their community. It's so sad to me that Garion now equates police officers to pain..... that's a hard one to overcome with a child with autism.
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