Imagine being pulled over by the police/cops/pigs/the filth for something and them not being aware that you have a disability, imagine if you were an autistic adult/child who was stopped and asked questions by said cops. The question is how would they know that you had autism?
Well worry no longer blog readers for a trail here in WA is being put into motion for children or adults who happen to come into contact with the police for any reason.
As I understand it we here in WA (Albany) are the first state to trail such a thing.
It works like this In order to have the alert placed on a child/adult, there is a document that needs to be filled out. It is then added to the police database where the alert becomes active. So if a child or adult comes into contact with the police in any capacity, the information on how best to support the child is readily accessible to the police officer.
The alert is completely voluntary, and up to the parent/carer to participant. The only people to view this alert will be police officers. The information would not be shared with anyone else. The police are aiming to create a very positive and supportive initiative towards individuals on the spectrum by creating a safety net and peace of mind for their families/ carers. They are very keen for everyone to understand that this register does not have any links towards any individual having a criminal record. If police have a better understanding of Autism and how it affects the individual, it can only be a positive.
The information will also assist officers when encountering an emergency situation, such as a missing child who has Autism. The information such as likes or dislikes, favourite places could prove vital in an emergency situation and assist officers enormously.
So when officers encounter someone who has Autism, they can view the alert and it will list some basic instructions for the officer. This will let them know the best way to approach and speak to the person and includes information on what the person doesn’t like, such as loud noises, flashing lights or physical contact. The alert would also include special interests such as animals, dinosaurs, Pokémon etc. for the little ones.
The Autism Alert is about protecting any individual with ASD no matter how young or how old your child is. They could be 2 years old or they could be 50. There are no age limits. It’s about keeping your child safe from dangerous situations, possible abduction attempts, eloping from home or school, and all the numerous other situations small children with (and without) Autism can find themselves in.
The WA Police Force are also in the process of introducing an Autism First responders training package to their officers. This is to increase the police officers knowledge of the disorder.
This is a step in the right direction by the WA police in order for them to understand our autism and how best to deal with us when they come into contact with us.