Welcome To The Website Of The National Police Autism Association
We are a privately-run group of UK police officers and staff supporting colleagues affected by autism and other neurodivergent conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. We welcome all police personnel with a personal, family or professional interest in these conditions.
The NPAA offers free membership to members of the UK policing and criminal justice community. We maintain a web forum where our members and support professionals can discuss personal, work and service delivery issues in confidence. We also maintain a network of champions to provide local support in each Force.
We assist police forces in supporting neurodiversity in all its forms. The NPAA advocates for valuing individuals for their strengths, and creating a workplace environment and culture in which everyone can fulfil their potential. We aim to end the stigma, prejudice and ignorance surrounding neurodivergent conditions.
The NPAA also promotes and shares best practices for working with the autistic community, such as autism alert cards. We work alongside the Disabled Police Association, which represents disability in policing at national level, and we support the DPAs goal of ending all forms of discrimination and ill-treatment of people with disabilities.
Read more about about our vision and values on our aims page.
What Is Take Me Home
Take Me Home is a database developed by the Pensacola Police Department for people who may need special assistance if they are alone or in times of emergency. This kind of assistance may be required if the person is unable to speak or properly identify themselves, or if they become disoriented or act in a manner that could be misinterpreted by first responders. The system includes a current digital picture, demographic information and caregiver contacts. If a police officer encounters a person in the Take Me Home system, the officer can query the Take Me Home system, searching by name or by the persons physical description. Once the individuals Take Me Home record has been located, the officer has the information at hand to appropriately assist the person.
Can You Join The Coast Guard If You Have Autism
Its not surprising that the recruitment process for Coast Guard officers is extremely competitive and selective, given its the smallest military branch.
You have to go through a rigorous assessment process before your application can even be considered in the first place.
The process gets even harder if you have a developmental disorder like autism.
However, like any other branch of the military, your eligibility to join the coast guard depends on the severity of the condition.
Apparently, if your autism is mild, then you can successfully apply for a waiver.
Nonetheless, a medical clearance is required to gain a chance of obtaining a waiver request.
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Why Police Need Training To Interact With People On The Spectrum
Encounters between law enforcement and people with autism often go wrong, but some police departments are beginning to train their officers.
by Hannah Furfaro / 6 June 2018
Johanna Verburg admits she wasnt on her best behavior the day she was arrested. It was a chilly morning in March in Sheffield, Alabama, near where Verburg lives. She was waiting for her 11-year-old daughter to finish a therapy session when she got into an argument with another woman in the waiting area of the therapists office. As the argument escalated, the office manager called the police.
Verburg, 41, had been diagnosed with autism a month earlier. As a nurse practitioner, she was familiar with the condition, and recognized that she has some autism traits. When shes nervous, for example, she stretches her fingers, cracks her jaw and plays with her rings a form of stimming, or self-stimulation, that keeps her calm. And when shes around authority figures, such as the police, she says, she starts shutting down and has trouble communicating.
When the officers arrived and followed her out of the therapists office, she paused on the sidewalk to write a note to her daughter. It seemed reasonable to leave a note about why shed left, Verburg says. But the police shouted at her to keep moving. I said, Okay, I have autism spectrum disorder. I do not understand what youre saying I need you to explain that to me.
Earn A Highschool Diploma Or A Ged
Some agencies do require some college coursework or a degree, but not all. However, all of them need a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent to be eligible to be a police officer.
Getting a bachelors degree is optional, but generally, those with at least a bachelors degree will be able to progress further in their careers and earn higher salaries. It also helps in cases where the department does require some college work.
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What Opportunities Are There For Me To Progress Within The Police Service
There are many opportunities for you to progress. Examples include detective work, dog handling and response policing. Finding the right role will allow you to put your superior attention to detail, ability to retain facts and remember points of law, and your different approaches to problem-solving into practice. Find out more about career progression opportunities.
Register Your Child With Local Law Enforcement
Another safety measure you can take is to register your child with your local police precinct and 911 database dispatch. To register, ask your local autism organization or police station for a form, which typically includes your childs photo, contact information, medications, diagnoses , behaviors, sensory issues, and calming mechanisms. That way, if the police is ever called to your house, your location will be flagged in the system, and the officer can learn about your childs autism ahead of time. Likewise, if your child wanders or elopes, police and first responders can more quickly determine the best course of action to help your child through the stressful experience.Keep in mind, too, that you can ask for officers trained in crisis intervention to help if your child or a loved one experiences a psychiatric emergency. Likewise, mental health helplines exist at national, state, and local levels to assist with deescalating individuals in crisis. For instance, the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers free crisis counseling 24 hours a day. You can text NAMI at 741-741 to access these services.
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How Do We Protect Personal Information
We use secure servers via PayPal when you make a purchase via our website see for further information. We also take appropriate measures to ensure that the information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date and only for as long as is necessary.
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How Do We Use This Information
We will use your personal information to provide you with the services, products or information you have requested, or for administration purposes .
To enable us to communicate with you effectively, we may sometimes use your data for the purposes of analysis, based on information that you have provided to us. We only ever share your data for these purposes with trusted, contracted suppliers, AET partner training hub providers and the Department for Education . The data is shared securely and subject to safe disposal agreements. This type of activity is solely designed to help us provide you with the best programmes possible.
We will not use your personal data for any other purpose without your consent and we will contact you according to your stated preferences. We hold your data on a secure database and in usable format only for as long as is required, and determined by the recency of your interactions with us, or for as long as we are required to do so by law.
We only use your personal information for direct marketing purposes if we have your consent. If you no longer want to hear from us, please let us know by emailing or calling 020 7903 3650.
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Can You Join The Marines If You Have Autism
The United States Marine Corps is one of the most selective branches of the military as far as recruitment is concerned.
In addition, the fact that the Marines is the second smallest branch of the military branch after the Coast Guard further makes it harder for aspiring recruits to join.
Therefore, you might face an uphill task trying to join the Marines if you have autism or any other medical condition.
What is more discouraging is that waivers are hard to come by in the Marines.
This is because recruiters in the Marines normally regard applying for waivers as a professional risk, especially if it involves handling a case of autism or any other medical disorder.
For this reason, they might not process or approve your request unless there is a shortfall that the Corps is trying to overcome. In the unlikely event that you get a waiver, you may have to serve in a special reserve unit rather than active units.
How Does It Work
Police departments make the commitment to use the program and gather and maintain the individual enrollment records. Once the program is in place in a community, families or individuals contact the police department and submit a recent digital photo, description of height, weight and other demographic information as well as emergency contact information.
This information is placed in a database that can be accessed in a police cruiser or back at the station. If officers find someone who cant communicate where he/she lives, they can search the database by description and return the person to their loved ones. The system also works in reverse if a loved one goes missing, their picture and description are immediately available.
Take Me Home is voluntary for citizens who participate, and all information is kept confidential.
There is no charge to police departments for the program and there is no enrollment fee. However, there is a responsibility and commitment to keep the system updated and current. Autism Society affiliates are a perfect way to bring caregivers of individuals on the autism spectrum and police together.
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Why Autism Training For Police Isnt Enough
by Elissa Ball, Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky / 26 November 2020
This article is part of:
Catrina Thompson doesnt worry about the safety of her 16-year-old autistic son Christopher when theyre in their hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. There, Thompson is chief of police, and most people on the force know Christopher, she says. The officers also all get two training sessions on how to interact with autistic people.
But when Thompson and Christopher visit family out of state, she says, the fear creeps in. When I go to Michigan, Im not Chief Thompson, she says. Im Catrina, and Christopher is not the chiefs son, hes Christopher. In some peoples mind, he just looks like a big Black kid. And that, when coupled with his behaviors, can be intimidating or even scary to an officer who hasnt been trained.
As a police officer and parent, Thompson knows all too well how badly interactions between autistic people and law enforcement can go. From beatings and violent arrests to deadly shootings, police use of force against autistic people is not uncommon.
As violent encounters between police and autistic people continue to make headlines, many states and police departments have added training on how to interact with people on the spectrum to their police-education roster. Better training, some say, offers one solution to the ongoing problem of police force being used against autistic people, particularly autistic people of color.
Autism And Military Service
Special thanks to Wade Rankin at Injecting Sense for the original pointer the Oregonian article.
If your autistic child is in an inclusion setting in high school, attending as a regular student, you will eventually encounter military recruiters. As part of No Child Left Behind, public schools are obligated to provide student information to the local recruiters. A recent story in the Oregonian shows the problems that can occur.
To help prevent this kind of problem, you can take the following steps:
- Have appropriate documents of diagnosis, treatment, IEPs, etc. for your child
- If possible, obtain a letter from the school district case manager, pediatrician and others
- Be proactive, and find out who the local recruiters are, for all services
- Be even more proactive, find out the chain of command for your local recruiters, all the way up to the first field grade officer
- Send a letter to the local recruiter, with a courtesy copy to the chain of command, stating your childs situation and that you would appreciate having your child excluded from their recruiting activities
- If needed, send the documentation youve gathered to the local recruiters.
= = == EXCERPT === ===== ========
When Jared first started talking about joining the Army, I thought, Well, that isnt going to happen, said Paul Guinther, Jareds father. I told my wife not to worry about it. Theyre not going to take anybody in the service whos autistic.
= = == === ===== ========
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The Airmen We Need: Americans With Disabilities In The Air Force
He raises his prosthetic hand, thumb and fingers extended, to touch the tip of his brow, forming a straight line with his wrist and elbow. Shoulders back and eyes forward, she balances on ultralight carbon fiber forearm crutches her lone foot makes a 45-degree angle with its missing twin.
Thats whats different about them. Whats not different is that they come to attention and salute just like their fellow servicemembers.
When imagining an airman in the Air Force today, you might picture someone short or tall, male or female, from Mexico or the Philippines or Des Moines. You probably dont envision an airman with a physical disability. But Americans with physical disabilities represent an untapped resource that can contribute to the Air Forces 21st-century mission.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright has said that the critical skills for an airman in todays Air Force are wisdom, courage, and resilience all attributes that describe an airmans mind, not their body. Expertise and experience, grit and perseverance, leadership and followership, creativity and innovation, commitment and patriotism Americans with disabilities can demonstrate all these qualities, just like Air Force airmen.
Digging into the Requirements
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The Autism Education Trust And The National Autistic Society
The Autism Education Trust is a business owned and hosted by The National Autistic Society and is not an official legal entity in its own right.
At the AET and the NAS, we are committed to protecting your privacy. This policy has been written in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. If you have any questions regarding our management of your personal data, or wish to lodge a complaint about how we use your personal data, please contact:
Data Protection OfficerPlease reference the Autism Education Trust in your communication.
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Can You Take Antidepressants In The Military
In the past, the military has disqualified just about any medication related to mental health.
However, the current policy is a little different.
It generally disqualifies anyone that is or has taken medication for mental illness in the last year.
If its been more than a year you may receive a waiver but the military will need to examine your medical records and speak to your physician.
The rules apply to medications like Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and Wellbutrin.
However, that doesnt stop the military from reportedly prescribing antidepressants to a surprisingly high number of active-duty soldiers.
Its worth pointing out that some people advise not mentioning any previous mental health diagnoses or medications to a recruiter, as well as MEPS.
The decision is up to you, but some strongly believe that what isnt known doesnt hurt anyone.
However, the military has ways of finding out if the mental health condition is on your medical records.
Autism Training For Police Officers: The Basics Of Response
About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder so the likelihood you will encounter someone with autism is high
Recognizing the signs of autism and knowing effective ways to approach a person on the autism spectrum can minimize risk to both individuals and police officers.
This roll call training video from the Allegheny County Chiefs of Police Association provides a guide for police and other first responders who may encounter a person with autism in the performance of their duties.
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Dont Forget Social Stories And Picture Books
Of course, one way to prepare kids with autism for new experiences is to use social stories and books. Social stories are visual narratives that illustrate someones experience navigating an unfamiliar or potentially stressful situation or problem. In this sense, social stories give kids a chance to practice, in an indirect way, various scenarios with police. They can also reinforce key concepts and behaviors.Depending on the age of your child, you can work together to create a social story or create one yourself. You can also check with your autism provider about creating a series related to police encounters.
Can I Update My Profile More Than Every Year If There Are Changes How Do I Do That
You may, however, only information that has a significant impact on policing response will be necessary. Some examples would include a change in address, school, or emergency contact. You do not need to report a change in hair cut or color, for example, as the police are familiar with the changes that can be made and are more likely to notice height, weight, and eye color.
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