From January 11th, 2011

Law Enforcement and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Written By Marlena Smith & Jill Teagardin Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by deficits in communication and social interaction, as well as the presence of repetitive and stereotyped behavior. These core features are likely to impact interactions between persons with ASD and others, including law enforcement officers. If police officers are unfamiliar with ASD, they may misinterpret such behaviors as suspicious, noncompliant, or threatening. Furthermore, such misinterpretations may in some cases result in unnecessary injury or fatality. For this reason, CARD researchers Jill Teagardin, Dr. Dennis Dixon, Marlena Smith, and Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh are conducting a study to train…