Interactions with law enforcement

I am writing a grant proposal to provide training to law enforcement (and other relevant community entities) about encounters with autistic adults in the community. My 25 year old son has had a number of close calls where if I or his mentor was not around he might have been arrested because of a meltdown or because of "suspicious behavior". He loves cars and has been known to walk around parking lots peering into vehicles he finds interesting . I know of a number of other adults on the spectrum who have had similar experiences. Has anyone in this group had similar experiences or known of someohe who has? I need the info for the proposal which is due 6/7/10.
  • sounds like a good proposal lynn, i hope you get some feed back that helps you out in getting your grant
  • I am in uk, and nearby area police started a card scheme where the person carried a card which could be shown in any event. These were registered and couldn't be got without proof of diagnosis. Training was done to make sure that signs of asd or other problems were able to be spotted. Since my son is too young I have not had one but seemed a really good idea even for higher functioning who could maybe be stopped driving and panic or what ever.
  • Hi I am the mom of a 23 yr old son with AS.I think your proposal to law enforcement is wonderful.I am usually with my son if he is out of the house because of the fear if he did have a meltdown how would law enforcement react. Where your son loves cars ,my son loves fans or anything that spins so while your son peers in the car window mine looks under them to spot the fan.He has tics and especially during a meltdown he will quote from a video game or movie and these could be perceived as threats.I cannot let my son be as independent as he could be for this very reason.
    We did have an issue while he was in high school.He was having a meltdown and ran off campus.When the resource officer got to him he was talking about swords and ect and ect. my son is a big man and threatened the officer with the sword (he had no sword) luckily this SRO was super with these kids and diffused the situation.But this officer also told me if that behavior happens on the street likely outcome would be pepper spray or taser and then arrest.I am in the state of GA if you need more info please let me know.
  • While at work for a large nearby city, my assignment included assisting public safety members in the police dept with HR/personnel information. Despite my best efforts, a few members were disappointed or offended for reasons that I am still unable to understand today. Because I had completely revised and personally edited the HR Employee Handbook (final draft approved in its entirety by my department, as I had written it) , I was somewhat surprised by these difficulties, often accompanied by complaints about my (IMHO) sincere efforts. At the time I was mostly unaware of the large number of autistic traits that I manifest, but I now understand better why I have always had difficulties relating to and dealing with those from the NT world. I have read that autistics may resemble those with more severe disorders, and often produce a profile in the MMPI that closely match those more severe disorders. I am rarely comfortable with close scrutiny or clearly adversarial encounters. For this reason, I am considering wearing a medical alert pendant or bracelet to prevent or moderate encounters like those my daughter has been through.
  • Hi Lynn,

    Unfortunately, I don't have any information I can add. I'm wondering, though, if you (or any other poster) would have advice for family members of an individual with autism who is already in the court system. My 32-year-old brother was recently arrested for a crime he clearly did commit (it was caught on camera), but the motivations were also clearly related to his autism. He's had prior run-ins with the law and has already spent time in prison (under relatively similar circumstances).

    How do we go about finding legal counsel in a situation like this? He's currently in Minnesota, and I live in Illinois, which complicates things.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • Try this okay mathprofdk. Hope that helps you and should list what's available in different states for children and adults on spectrum.
  • My brother was arrested once also. He was (what he thought) fixing a woman's groceries and she thought he was going to rob her. It was part of his OCD. Luckily the case was dropped, but things like this do scare me. Now he knows never to touch other people's things, even if he is trying to help. Please let us know how it went with your proposal. Thanks!
  • How are you doing with the employment piece of your work ?
  • My son is also very curious and now 20. I am concerned because we are taking him to Vegas for an 8 day vacation. He loves elevators and bright blinking lights and noises. I think the machines may set him off on a tailspin. He may just get so "happy" when he sees then meaning no harm. He also may want to ride up and down the elevators. He loves the "thrill". We will watch him like a hawk but he is quick and sometimes slips way like a jack rabbit. I am so afraid that casino security will arrest him. I hope there is someway to let them know of his condition at the hotel where we are staying so they are aware of him ahead of time. I am
    not sure how that works. Has anyone else had an experience of their visit with thier autistic loved one in an atmosphere like Las Vegas? We hope to visit the arcades with him and take him to more nature sights like the grand canyon and we HOPE he sits through some shows.
    We know we have to be mindful that we have to monitor his every movement while we are thre. Any suggestions?
  • Hi Bling Bling,
    My name is Win. My son has had a few encounters with law enforcement and I think I might be able to suggest a few things to avert any difficulties. When you make your reservations I would suggest getting the name, extention number, email address or someway to speak with the person in charge of security. Explain your situation and send them a photo of your son. 99.9% of security people want to help avert problems and would probably work closely to prevent any difficulties. Depending upon the communication level of your son you might need to write a note and attach it to him. The note should include his diagnosis, his and your name and room numner. A cell phone number would also be helpful. I'd love to hear about your experience when you get back from vacation. I'll bet it runs smoothly. Blessings, Win. PS Most hotels have a "daycare" service that might be of use for you when you go to a show.
  • Have someone stay at home with him if that's possible . These kinds of enviorments can be really hell for kids/people on the spectrum with sensory issues . My wife has a friend who thought she was doing her grandson a favor by taking him to Disneyland only to learn all the lights and the sounds and motion were torture for him . Another possibilty - call ahead to the hotel where you will be staying and ask them what's available .With all the security these days your vacation could get real stressful if your are'nt prepared .
  • It is very difficult for us because my autistic son is graduating with his brother who is 18 and a performer. This trip to Vegas and San Francisco will be part of their graduation present. My
    18 year old son wants to go to shows as he is a performer. Dad and I know that his needs and wants needs to be addressed also but not at the expense of his handicapped brother. My parents are in their 90's and unable to come to watch him. i myself have a prosthetic leg and cannot chase him should my husband accompany the younger brother and I stay with my autistic son. I like the idea of him wearing ID and contact numbers describing his
    disability. If we go from casino to casino it would be a problem for us to let every casino know. I wonder if we can have that addressed as we visit each casino. What do you think?
    My performer son wants to go see broadway shows and Vegas performances. We know we may have to medicate the son with autism in order to calm him down in tis environment. We will speak with his physician. Thank you for your suggestions. Any more?
  • This is an additional comment: My son is literate. He can read and write and can cmmjnicate verbally. However, he cannot understand that places have boundaries, and reasons for
    rules to be followed. He is also unaware of predators and danger. (ie: traffic; etc., hotel
    room floors being restricted for hotel guests only. consino areas for 21 years only, gambling
    machines off limits for 21 years only).
  • My son is going on 17,so this is something that concerns me.I think it is much needed,to teach police and other public servants about ASD.
  • There is something called a wallet card. It's a blue wallet card that has the person's info and emergency contact info. I carry one. I also help educate LEO's and Emergency Responders. I have had many encounters.