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02-04-2020 | Original Paper

Law Enforcement Officers’ Preparation for Calls Involving Autism: Prior Experiences and Response to Training

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Auteurs:
Lauren Gardner, Jonathan M. Campbell
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Abstract

Highly publicized interactions between law enforcement officers (LEOs) and individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have raised questions about LEOs’ training related to ASD. In the present study, 157 LEOs participated in ASD-specific training and completed pretest and posttest surveys of autism knowledge, confidence, and self-monitoring. The majority of LEOs responded to calls involving someone with ASD in the last year, with 20% of these calls resulting in involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. LEO knowledge of ASD, self-confidence in responding to calls, and self-monitoring of performance increased from pretest to posttest. Compared to male counterparts, female officers were less likely to use force and handcuffs when responding to ASD-related calls. Female officers’ self-confidence increased significantly more than male officers.

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