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People In Positions of Trust and Authority

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by LeroyT1000, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. LeroyT1000

    LeroyT1000 Active Member

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    Hi friends!

    I just wanted to start a debate with the topic being that, should people described in the thread title be trained to deal with people with ASD?

    I believe they should because every one I've come across has no ability to spot or manage me as an individual. Sometimes I feel like running into a bus lol!!!
     
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  2. Warmheart

    Warmheart Something nerdy this way comes V.I.P Member

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    I'm thinking that doctors need a "cheat sheet" on how to communicate well with us. Autism profoundly effects our ability to communicate. Even if we're (mostly) verbal, pain can clobber our ability to express what's wrong, because it can in fact quash our awareness altogether. Talk about not being able to tell someone where it hurts!
     
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  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's a tricky issue, mainly because ASD constitutes a disorder. Not necessarily a disability. It ultimately depends on each individual case. If it were objectively classified as a disability I could see more uniform policies created regarding how we are dealt with. But the reality for us is quite different.

    It seems an uphill battle just to get law enforcement personnel to learn such things. But in their capacity, it's likely to be critical as opposed to other occupations such as someone interviewing you for a job. It would be nice if someone had such knowledge and training. However I suspect that expecting or demanding it in lesser or non-critical capacities is probably not realistic in most cases.
     
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  4. ancusmitis

    ancusmitis Well-Known Member

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    We need to put an end to police responding to mental health issues. They can't handle it now, and I'm not convinced they ever could. Training them to handle mental illness makes as much sense as training them to handle broken bones. We need a new, separate branch of emergency services dedicated to mental health. People in emotional distress have a right to expect help, instead of getting shot.
     
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  5. kestrel

    kestrel Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This has been on my mind very much lately LeroyT1000 .

    Reading these responses, ancusmitis Judge & Warmheart, I have nothing more to add except: Excellent thread and responses.
     
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  6. King_Oni

    King_Oni Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Let's just start with the premise that everyone in such positions should not live in denial that any kind of mental conditions is a thing. If they all keep in consideration that behaviour by someone can be caused by any kind of mental illness/disorder it would go a long way to try and deal with someone, for instance, on the spectrum.

    As long as there's the notion among people in certain positions that mental health is a hoax and people should get over it and get their act together the problem will persist
     
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  7. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    The first problem I see is that a professional in law enforcement is trained for that job and not in psychology. That would vastly hinder law enforcement recruiting in that a person trained to do psychological evaluation would probably not accept a lesser pay scale to do law enforcement.

    Law enforcement is trained to deal with a situation that arises outside of the laws he is paid to be a witness to. Sometimes mistakes are made that do not have favorable outcomes from misunderstandings. Sometimes they are from a gung ho attitude and possibly ignorance of humans in general.

    Until the autistic community accepts that they would have to have positive identification that can be seen at a glance for a signal that they may be having an issue,this will never happen.
    In the USA,we have a bill of rights that says we don't have to give up our private issues to anyone that can stay in effect until we do something that society deems necessary to strip them away. Are you willing to give those rights up in order to label yourself as defective so people in higher positions never make a mistake with you?
     
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  8. King_Oni

    King_Oni Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I suppose I could raise the issue about law enforcement in the US being out of control and shooting first and asking question later... but that horse has been beaten... or if you will, shot to death, many, many times. But I suppose this is what this thread is mostly going to be about.

    Perhaps law enforcement in certain parts of the world needs better psych evaluation for people to get hired and given a badge. Over here we have local enforcement agents who are not armed and often are ones that are being given a uniform as some kind of rent-a-cop kind of thing, yet as it turns out is that many people in that position, often unemployed people given that job through a (local) government program, cannot deal with that kind of power. Just because you want to be an enforcement agent of any kind, does not give you a free pass to get a badge just for aspiring it. It's similar to why not everyone will be fit to join the armed forces. Perhaps it's that these kind of evaluations need to be significantly improved and more be critical.

    Though in all honesty, the fact that a cop isn't trained in the basics of psychology in certain places on the globe bothers me, especially when they're practically in a position where they have the power to take a life. I don't think you need to put psychologists in a uniform, I think you need to give law enforcement agents extensive psychological training, to assess a situation beyond "I either kill this individual or get killed myself".

    And if we're talking positive identification; how would you go about it? Saying you're autistic mid meltdown isn't going to work. Having family or friends around 24/7 is hardly realistic and plastering a giant note on your front door stating "autistic person living here" will probably open the door (no pun intended) for some people with evil intent since they might consider it easy prey. A friend of mine has a little creditcard sized card in his wallet stating he has autism (a card given out by the dutch autism association), which he can show cops. And that's a way that works fine when he gets stopped by the cops in the streets, provided he's clear in that he's going to reach for his wallet (which seems to be a thing here anyway, since having to ID yourself through passport/ID card is mandatory if cops ask), yet I can see that in countries where everyone is highly paranoid someone is going to harm them with some kind of weapon, they're not going to hesitate to shoot or anything. But then again.

    Though I'm also of opinion that basic psychology and acceptance of neurodiversity should be part of any school curriculum to start with. I'm not sure if Sesame street will do much for it but bringing these issues up through the educational system would probably help a lot (but then again, I don't have a clue what exactly is part of the US school curriculum, though the way it's been handled now if I have to believe media, I suspect it's lacking... heavily).

    As it turns out, in recent events, they only have to make a mistake once... cops just have to shoot you once...
     
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  9. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    Treating one as a human being would be a good start, in many cases. Getting shot for your condition is terrible but there is a lot of discrimination that is more subtle and happens all the time.
     
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  10. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    I agree that law enforcement should be better trained on how to deal with what is different.But where do you start?How should they determine how much and what kind of additional training they should receive.Most of those guys put their own butts out on the line to protect and serve and want to cause as little trouble as possible,while others are on a power trip.
    In the USA if you reach for your wallet,you might be thought to be reaching for a weapon. Go back to the gung ho part again.Duck if he starts shooting at you. Does it make it right? No,but that is the way it is here.

    I grew up in a very small town during the 60's and 70s where everyone knew each other by name because we were so close knit.The township hired an officer who was not from the area but had their required qualifications.We called him Rambo or Super Trooper.Part of his qualification was a psychological test that he passed to wear his badge.He became a fine example of a person not suited for their job.He beat up guys and took advantage of women while on patrol during traffic stops,got caught at some of his beatings he gave and covered his butt by saying those he arrested were resisting but was reinstated by his union three times when the township tried to fire him for going rogue.He traded clemency for the girls for sexual favors performed in his cruiser.He beat my ass once over a speeding violation and I told his chief. The chief told me to not pursue the matter because Rambo covered himself again. The chief was already working on his demise.The final straw for him was stealing from the cash register a local butcher shop he hung out in so many times his own chief and the owner set him up with marked bills before they could fire him.

    You can see someone in a wheelchair and understand it because it is visual. You can't see mental issues. You can't look into a mind,you can only guess what is going on inside it. Unless you are experiencing it yourself,reading about it is just offers an idea of what it is like.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
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  11. unsurewhattoname

    unsurewhattoname Well-Known Member

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    In the UK you can get a free autism alert card (for a lot of places, and the ones you can't there's one you pay for that isn't much) and the police have basic training on what this means. I think the USA needs to follow this.
     
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  12. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    If you want to bring your own first responders up to speed about ASDs, recommend that they contact Dennis Debbaudt.
     
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  13. Flinty

    Flinty Off Indefinite Hiatus, I Guess V.I.P Member

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    I don't know about the USA, but in the province of Ontario most community colleges offer a Police Foundations program, and I can tell you that these programs are popular. (My job is relevant! My job is relevant!) What can you learn that might be relevant?

    Sheridan College: Psychology Core Concepts, Introduction to Sociology, Criminology: A Canadian Approach (and a conflict resolution course whose name I lost when I accidentally closed the tab).

    Conestoga College: Sociology and Canadian Society, Conflict Management, Psychology and Mental Health in Public Safety, Contemporary Social Issues

    Humber College: Psychology: Introduction, Contemporary Social Problems, Conflict Management, Psychology: Social

    Algonquin College: Psychology, Sociology and Canadian Society, Contemporary Social Problems, Issues in Diversity, Conflict Management

    Seneca College: Interpersonal Relations and Conflict Management, Introduction to Psychology, Diversity and First Nations

    That, of course, is a sample.

    There are a lot of individual police forces in America. County level, city level, state troopers, FBI. America has thousands of counties, many with only a few thousand people. A lot of positions need to be filled, and they're not necessarily filled with educated people.

    In Canada, the RCMP handle the small towns while only bigger cities have their own police; this leads to a standardization at the small-town level. Ontario and Quebec have their own police forces, while Newfoundland and Labrador has one that covers a few cities. Larger forces mean more standardization.

    I had a friend who was a police detective (he passed away in 2000). No one on the Winnipeg Police Service actually wants to fire their weapon - the paperwork is a headache, plus anyone who fires their weapon in anger is automatically placed on leave with pay until it is determined whether the gun was correctly fired or not. And that takes months/years.

    Things have improved. My cousin wanted to join the Mounties in the 1980s, but he did not meet any of the four qualifications to get considered:

    1. Be a woman, or...
    2. Be a Treaty Indian, or...
    3. Be bilingual, or...
    4. Have a university degree (in anything).

    They would only take #4 if there weren't enough people in the class from the first three categories. This explains Dog River's cops so much. (Inside Canadian joke.)
     
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  14. StephF

    StephF Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would like to see Police Officers trained to understand what the Autism Spectrum is and how to show us some sensitivy.
    That said, I don't see it happening.
     
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  15. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    That is what Mr. Debbaudt's courses teach.
     
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  16. unsurewhattoname

    unsurewhattoname Well-Known Member

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    I guess I'll share my thoughts.

    ASD isn't exactly rare so it's not unreasonable to expect some kind of understanding. Since it'd be unreasonable to expect a police officer to remember a lot of information on it, they should only be expected to know the basics, and at that things that are potentially going to be problems. So rather than teach them the preference of language and other bullshit (I'm sorry) like that, teach them the basics of sensory issues (most don't like loud, bright, busy places) and to get out of those situations if possible, the communication problems (so avoiding eye contact or staring too much does not mean lying as it would in NTs, standing too close does not mean that they're being aggressive, that not all autistic people can speak, especially in an unexpected situation that is what's happened if they're with the police/emergency services and that this is not ignoring), that behaviour may appear strange or threatening but that doesn't mean it is - that kind of thing, the important stuff that would otherwise lead to things getting worse. If they need to, they can bring someone more specialised in, that could be parents/carers or it could be someone on the force that knows more.

    It's also impossible to spot an autistic person. Like, you can't just look at a person and be like "yep, they're autistic". Even a professional can't do this, as anyone who's been through the diagnostic process knows it takes a lot more than looking. So there needs to be a way to make the police aware. But at the same time, I can't imagine any of us would be happy carrying around a big flashing sign that says we're autistic on us. So something like a card or a wristband are the ideal type of thing. Not a huge display for the public, but the emergency services will know where to look.

    That's why I like what the UK has done.
     
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  17. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    Another point I need to bring up here is the way my present police force operates. They don't have the available resources to run 24 hours a day,they only work the first two shifts. The third shift is handed off to the state troopers who have about an hour response time.If they spend money to provide training,where will it come from? I lived in a major metropolitan area when I was younger,so it is not like I am out of touch with that either. The town I grew up in is part of a force that serves many communities all at the same time due to lack of proper funding to maintain their own force.Maybe the answer is a world police force and a blue arm band that strips away civil rights. Sounds a bit too controlling for my taste.When an officer is in a standoff with an autie in a violent situation where seconds count,he most likely isn't going to ask a lot of questions but react.

    Yeah,it sounds like a great idea to train every officer of the law in autism so when they have to deal with it they are properly prepared. Don't hold your breath in small town America.
     
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  18. unsurewhattoname

    unsurewhattoname Well-Known Member

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    Well something at least needs to be done. Like maybe they watch a lecture or something. Enough so that they recognise the word and know the basics of what it means to them. Not sure where the money comes from, maybe the US's huge military budget to send every police officer that hasn't already done so to a lecture. They get constant training, right? I don't know where the money comes from, or how to organise this all, but when autistic people keep getting killed then something needs to be done in my opinion. And what is it, 2% of Americans are autistic? That is a lot, so it would be useful to know.
     
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  19. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

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    What do they do when someone is having a meltdown or a social phobia event and can't talk or even look at another person?
     
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  20. unsurewhattoname

    unsurewhattoname Well-Known Member

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    Not shoot them.
     
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