Autism awareness: 5 steps to adapt your response

Here's a look at what responders need to know about the disorder, and how to modify their response to situations that involve an autistic individual

By Leischen Stelter, American Military University

The number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is on the rise. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren are diagnosed with ASD. That is up significantly from previous estimates of 1 in 88 children. In more tangible terms, the CDC’s new statistics mean more than 1 million children are diagnosed with some form of the neurodevelopment disorder.

In recognition of April as Autism Awareness Month, here are some tips about what emergency responders should know about the disorder and how they should modify their response.

Step 1: Educate Yourself

Emergency responders must educate themselves about this disorder and learn how to adjust their response to situations that involve an autistic individual, said Dr. Kevin Kupietz, adjunct professor of Emergency and Disaster Management at American Military University and a volunteer firefighter with the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department in North Carolina.

Read full storyAutism Awareness: 5 Steps to Adapt your Response

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