Area law enforcement, first responders receive training in autism awareness

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(ABC 6 News) – Wednesday, about 60 local law enforcement officers and first responders took part in an autism response training class.

During the session, participants learned how to recognize high risk contacts, how to prepare for various interactions with people, how to speak to people with a calm and reassuring tone, and how to maintain personal space during response calls.

"Due to the nature of the condition when people on the spectrum are approached by law enforcement it can make the situation very stressful for them and their behaviors may be misunderstood or confusing to law enforcement, and this helps with being more understanding," said Community Autism Resource Specialist Mary Barinka.