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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 13,546
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

Sep 22, 2017 Joe Maher
Sep 22, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 21, 2017 Jennifer Neri I have been very lucky I have two autistic children and all of the police officers so far have been very understanding
Sep 20, 2017 Kayla Schmidt
Sep 20, 2017 Amanda Mcilwain
Sep 20, 2017 joanne viel
Sep 20, 2017 Terry Casteel
Sep 20, 2017 Justine Greenleaf
Sep 20, 2017 (Name not displayed) My 21 year old son is diagnosed with Autism. Even though he is high functioning... if the police in my area weren't aware of how to work with someone with Autism, he would have has some serious issues. They are not trained, just experienced, but need it.
Sep 20, 2017 Timothy Clemans
Sep 20, 2017 Ashley Kern
Sep 20, 2017 Mariann Sargent
Sep 20, 2017 (Name not displayed) We, who have an autistic child in the family, need all the help we can get to safely and lovingly protect our children and adults.
Sep 19, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 19, 2017 (Name not displayed) This is such an important issue. First responders need to be educated so they can help rather than misinterpret a situation and potentially make it worse.
Sep 18, 2017 Roxanna Mitchell
Sep 18, 2017 Rachel Hodges
Sep 17, 2017 Delores Williams This lack of sensitivity has caused great trauma and expense to my family
Sep 17, 2017 Laura McAuley My young adult son has autism and I am concerned that police officers may misread his blunt answers and lack of eye contact for insolence or sarcasm. Very worrisome!
Sep 17, 2017 Kristie McKeegan
Sep 17, 2017 Lola Longyhore This is a very good thing as well as the same type of training for older adults with Alzheimer's or dementia's.
Sep 17, 2017 Pikake Smallan
Sep 16, 2017 Jennifer LePage-Trette
Sep 16, 2017 (Name not displayed) Yes, we need training in Autism spectrum. With so many children on this spectrum I am surprised this wasn't done before. Thanks
Sep 16, 2017 Randi Robinson-Snaer
Sep 16, 2017 emily johns
Sep 16, 2017 (Name not displayed) Yes, please please do this. So important to keep families safe and supported.
Sep 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 15, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 15, 2017 CAROLYN MCDANIEL For the safety of the kids that will be adults before long we desperately need this for all officers. The percentage of babies being born with Autism is going up each year. Its time to start training our law enforcement.
Sep 15, 2017 (Name not displayed) This is so needed i the community, Please Help
Sep 14, 2017 Denise Griffin
Sep 14, 2017 Annette Fox
Sep 13, 2017 Jason Seay
Sep 13, 2017 Michelle Seay I have a son on the spectrum and it's important training that's needed!
Sep 13, 2017 Nikki Wallace
Sep 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 10, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 9, 2017 Roxanne Reusch
Sep 8, 2017 Katherine Burkland Yes and all other 1st responders,social services,..and people in charge who could stop excitement and cayous getting out of hand and do the help needed asap
Sep 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 8, 2017 Dee Levy As the mom of a autistic child, I worry about my child's safety if my worst fears occur and he is confronted by a police offficer untrained in how to interact with him.
Sep 8, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Sep 5, 2017 Steven LAINE
Sep 5, 2017 JoAnn Evans
Sep 3, 2017 Richard Chance
Sep 1, 2017 Kathie mudrone
Aug 31, 2017 (Name not displayed)

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