Skip navigation

no spam, unsubscribe anytime.
Skip navigation
Goal: 30,000 Progress: 5,193
Sponsored by: The Autism Site

America's cops need help. They're underfunded, stretched too thin, and dealing with deeply divided communities every day. They're asked to do so much with very little!

When law enforcement budgets get tight, the first thing to go are training programs that are considered as 'extras.' These extras can be anything that senior members of the department believe doesn't directly keep officers safe.

Autism-Interaction Training, for many departments, is often perceived as one of these 'extras.'

But that's not the right perspective. While rare in the general population, autism spectrum disorders are a reality in communities across the country. People on the spectrum are seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than their nuerotypical peers. To properly do their job, law enforcement must understand how to interact with people on the spectrum, especially in the stressful or overwhelming situations that can prompt police interaction in the first place.

Many effective education programs already exist, but their implementation is piecemeal and dependent upon the funding and time being available in each department.

We can't stand back and continue to let autism-interaction training be a low-priority issue for our communities' police forces!

To help address the lack of universal training for our police on the unique circumstances the autism spectrum presents, we are calling upon the Justice Department to implement a mandatory, federally-funded education program that equips officers with the skills needed to identify and effectively interact with individuals on the autism spectrum. Sign the petition now!

Sign Here

To The Attorney General of the United States,

We are writing to you because we are concerned by the lack of universal police training when it comes to interacting with individuals on the autism spectrum.

According to the Autism Society of America, "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults on the autism spectrum typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities."

Autism can present itself in many different ways, and people on the spectrum often respond to stressful situations differently from nuerotypical people. They are also seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than their nuerotypical peers. Standard interaction protocols often are not as effective for people on the spectrum, and may even be harmful.

People on the autism spectrum are as much a part of America's communities as people of different races, ethnicities, or national background. As such, we demand that proper, universal training in interacting with people on the spectrum be required in police departments across the country, and that the federal government fund this training to ensure it occurs.

Please use your position to advocate for the autism spectrum community and help law enforcement be better prepared to interact with it. Lives are at stake.

Thank you,

Petition Signatures

Jan 18, 2017 Paul Williams
Jan 17, 2017 Autumn Adair Would love to see this in my area
Jan 17, 2017 Jody Farris I have a child with autism who is 15. If he was to ever be alone (not likely) and walking down the street and told by an officer to STOP, he would not understand. Having officers educated on autism could save an adult or child's life with autism.
Jan 17, 2017 Nichole Lindgren i think this a fantastic idae. i would hate if my son, who is on the spectrum with very servere sensory processing disorder, had a run in and was violently hurt because of lack of understanding.
Jan 17, 2017 Veronica Albritton
Jan 16, 2017 Rita Brookins
Jan 16, 2017 Heather Peterman
Jan 16, 2017 Leandra Nagy
Jan 16, 2017 Vicky Lantz My son is autistic and i believe everyone should educate themselves along with kids so people stop judging and know how to deal or help if needed
Jan 16, 2017 Christa Ryan
Jan 16, 2017 Tracy Osman Brilliant idea
Jan 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 16, 2017 Eric Gindele
Jan 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 16, 2017 Christopher Smedley
Jan 16, 2017 Bobbi Haggard
Jan 16, 2017 Tanya Greteman
Jan 16, 2017 (Name not displayed) Emergency responders need to be trained to understand people on the Autism spectrum to maintain safety for all involved
Jan 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 16, 2017 Barbra Bartz Our LEO should most certainly be trained to work with people with ASD, it will save lives!
Jan 16, 2017 Kim White My son is high functioning but still has problems when sick or overstimulated. I fear now that he's older if something happens things may be taken wrong by first responders. These programs are important!
Jan 16, 2017 Angie Greenlaw
Jan 16, 2017 Maria Friend
Jan 16, 2017 Dara Mcmullen
Jan 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 16, 2017 Donna McNamara
Jan 14, 2017 Jill Macinnis
Jan 11, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 10, 2017 Theresa Palmer So Many affected are non verbal , they need this desperately
Jan 8, 2017 Lora Treadway
Jan 7, 2017 Pauline Berg
Jan 7, 2017 Janette Horchar
Jan 6, 2017 Stacy Hobbs As a mom and former police officers daughter, the more education about ASD, the better.
Jan 6, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Jan 6, 2017 Amanda J
Jan 5, 2017 Cathy Rygwelski Please help
Jan 5, 2017 Lydia Cora
Jan 5, 2017 Kim Fisher Would love to see training in all of ohio
Jan 5, 2017 Robin Walters I am a mom of a 20 year old Autistic boy. This would help greatly
Jan 5, 2017 Albert Klaudi I have an autistic son but will not co-operate with law enforcement during he was put in care at a very young age. Not mentioning it why.
Jan 5, 2017 Sheila Kunda
Dec 28, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 24, 2016 (Name not displayed) All law enforcers should be required to go through special training so they can properly communicate and deal with people on the Autism spectrum.
Dec 22, 2016 julian zrnic
Dec 20, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 19, 2016 Jason Wood
Dec 19, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Dec 19, 2016 Heather Harr My 3 and half year old son is autistic
Dec 19, 2016 louis Saltzman
Dec 19, 2016 (Name not displayed) I have a 22 year with Aspergers, I worry everyday if he has encounters with police they wont understand...please get training...these children don't deserve to lose their life because they are having a bad day!

back to top

Share this page and help fund therapy: