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    Autism Society of Minnesota
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  • AuSM peace officer training approved for CEUs
Feb
02

AuSM peace officer training approved for CEUs

eplogo2014webThe Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training has approved the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) emergency preparedness training classes for Continuing Education Credit (CEU) for peace officers. 

“With a diagnosis rate of one in 68, autism is the fastest growing disability in our state. Everyone knows someone who is touched by autism,” Dawn Brasch, AuSM Education and Training Specialist said. “Educating peace officers about autism not only ensures the safety of individuals with autism, but also the safety of officers and the community as a whole.”

eplogo2014webThe Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training has approved the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) emergency preparedness training classes for Continuing Education Credit (CEU) for peace officers. 

“With a diagnosis rate of one in 68, autism is the fastest growing disability in our state. Everyone knows someone who is touched by autism,” Dawn Brasch, AuSM Education and Training Specialist said. “Educating peace officers about autism not only ensures the safety of individuals with autism, but also the safety of officers and the community as a whole.”

In service to the local autism community for more than 40 years, AuSM developed its autism emergency preparedness training to instruct first responders, including peace officers, on how to interact with and accommodate individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). 

Due to impaired social skills, individuals with ASD may fail to respond to their names, often avoid eye contact with people, and may have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they don’t understand social cues. The stress and anxiety of an emergency situation may make communication even more difficult for individuals with autism.

AuSM’s scenario-focused training includes understanding, planning and teaching steps to effectively handle emergency situations. Participants receive training and supporting educational materials. 

“AuSM shares information with first responders about how autism can affect their jobs, giving professionals the knowledge and support they need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of individuals with autism and the community,” Brasch said. “Being able to offer CEU credits for peace officer trainings will help us spread the word about how to work with individuals with autism.”

Multiple first responders and other public safety professionals have participated in AuSM’s emergency preparedness training including Hennepin Emergency Medical Services (EMS); White Bear Lake, Minneapolis and St. Paul Fire Departments; Woodbury, Maplewood, Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments; and the Metropolitan Airport Commission Tactical Negotiating Officers.

One AuSM emergency preparedness training participant noted, “The training was so helpful to me for my job. It’s easy sometimes to judge people when we don’t really know what’s going on; this will help me ask a few more questions and think there might be more to the story.”

Click here to learn more about AuSM’s emergency preparedness training.