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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 16,014
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

May 17, 2018 Barbara Mathes
May 13, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 12, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 9, 2018 ioannis tsorvas
May 8, 2018 Christine Pierce
May 7, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 5, 2018 Heather Kessler
May 4, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 3, 2018 (Name not displayed) Yes
May 3, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 2, 2018 Kelly Maddocks
May 2, 2018 Dennis C We have a son with autism. We live in Las Vegas. We support the call for training of our law enforcers and other first responders on how to respond to persons with autism.
May 2, 2018 Barb Fox
May 2, 2018 Heather Hazel
May 2, 2018 Stephanie Ayan
May 2, 2018 Tracy Coburn
May 1, 2018 magdalena abrego
May 1, 2018 Lindsay Mercell-Vars This is a must!
May 1, 2018 Roberta Reyes My grandson has autism no verbal
May 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 1, 2018 Robyn Plantz I have friends with autistic children
May 1, 2018 (Name not displayed)
May 1, 2018 Nicola Mann My son has autism
May 1, 2018 Brittany Hamilton I have a daughter who has autism
May 1, 2018 Veronica Becerra
May 1, 2018 Sharon Patrick
May 1, 2018 Daniel Bertoldi
Apr 30, 2018 Gregory Whittington
Apr 30, 2018 Ashley Snelling
Apr 29, 2018 AMANDA YAPI never want a cop to put handcuffs on my son and say ill take them off when you calm down they won't. Its happen to one to many kids. If they knew what they are doing to the child and learn better ways safe ways would make a huge difference
Apr 29, 2018 eve pro
Apr 28, 2018 Kim Genier
Apr 27, 2018 James Farber Not only law enforcement, school resource officers and teachers!
Apr 26, 2018 Rosa Marshall
Apr 26, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 26, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Apr 26, 2018 Kelly Tonge Individuals with Special Needs who are not visually identified as such, are more apt to be mistreated by those in authority who are not trained to interact with them. Universal police training would help to alleviate some of the trauma of an interaction.
Apr 26, 2018 Charrita Tatum
Apr 26, 2018 (Name not displayed) My son has been a victim of law enforcement not understanding autism. He has charges pending against him because of an incident at school. Something so small that was escalated to a point it should never have gotten to if there had been adequate training.
Apr 25, 2018 Tina Kniseley Very important for all to be aware especially law/emergency workers & enforcement
Apr 25, 2018 Joanne Kelly Please let Autism-Interaction Training be a high-priority issue for our communities' police forces all over the world!
Apr 25, 2018 Luz Caraballo
Apr 25, 2018 Laurie Thuemmel My son who has Autism was charged criminally by our local police department after pulling the fire alarm in full view of school staff, who did not attempt to stop him from pulling it. He is now on probation.
Apr 25, 2018 Aida Candeal
Apr 24, 2018 Cynthia Scionti A cop may not see that a person has autism and that is the reason why the person is not responding. Cops need to be aware if someone has autism or not.
Apr 24, 2018 BDonna Barham This issue and other mental health issues need to taught to officers. They need to be aware of sypmtoms and actions and how to act with them. Same thing on animal issues.
Apr 24, 2018 Catherine Rogan
Apr 23, 2018 Silvia Pereira
Apr 23, 2018 (Name not displayed) Very few officers in my community know how to interact with residents on the spectrum. Those who do, are or have worked as community resource officers in the school district.

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