Trigger warning: Police shootings
Most of us will come across emergency services in our lifetime – police, ambulance officers and firefighters. For autistic people these interactions can be very stressful and even dangerous.
Emergency services personnel may not know a lot about autism meaning they misinterpret the actions of autistics. At its most extreme this can result in death. Many autistic people having meltdowns have been shot by police who mistakenly believed they were a danger to others or that they were on drugs. If police received better training (or any training) on working with autistic people these tragedies may well be avoided.
Autistic people may be arrested on suspicion of illegal acts based on misunderstandings of the reasons for their behaviour. I know of one autistic man who was arrested and interrogated because he was examining the foundations of a building. The man was an engineer…
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