MIAMI (CBSMiami) – April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, and the Miami-Dade Police Department has pledged to train its officers to recognize the signs and symptoms of autism to communicate effectively with people with intellectual disabilities.
On Friday, the department announced the launch of its ambitious autism and sensory training sessions to all members of the police department by 2023.
The trainings, conducted in partnership with the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD), will take place monthly and will include approximately 120 agents, until every agent is trained .
The trainings provide insight into autism, personal stories, case studies, key terms and behaviors to watch out for, de-escalation techniques and role-playing – all with the aim of providing officers with the tools, the knowledge and empathy they need. confidently handle situations involving community members with autism, sensory issues or related disabilities.
The department has already completed its first training session, in which 120 officers participated over three days.
The program is the result of Miami-Dade District 7 Commissioner Raquel Regalado’s resolution passed in 2021 to train staff in all offices and public spaces in Miami Dade County, in which the service of font was included.
The Department already has an “Autism Awareness” vehicle, which features a pattern of red, blue, yellow and green solid puzzle shapes, and the initialized handprints of 28 autistic children of Department employees.
People with autism spectrum disorders face social challenges and their behavioral symptoms can lead to misunderstandings. They may have difficulty relating to others or seem oblivious when people talk to them. It is behavior that, to the untrained eye, can be misinterpreted as non-compliance or resistance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects about one in 54 children in the United States