Dennis Debbaudt, an author and trainer of law enforcers, will lead a four-hour training class in San Marcos, Texas, next month to help police and other first-responders deal with autistic citizens, reports the Austin American Statesman. Debbaudt speaks from experience: He has an autistic son. The training is a statewide initiative of the Texas Autism Research and Resource Center, a project of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, which is sponsoring the class.
The goal is to improve first responders’ understanding of the disorder. The agency has been canvassing communities statewide to find out if they’re interested in hosting such a training for law enforcement professionals and the community. Autism is a growing issue in America for law enforcers. It now affects one in 88 children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.