Autism Preparedness

With the diagnosis of autism becoming increasingly common, pressures are growing through both local movements and legislative efforts to ensure first responders are properly trained in the potential needs and challenges of the people with which they may be interacting.

Observes STARS for Autism, a training and advocacy group based in Springfield, Missouri, children who have been diagnosed with autism are up to seven times as likely to have interactions with first responders than those without autism. As a result, STARS is pushing for increased training of police and paramedics, according to

In Illinois, a new law has also taken effect, intended to help those with Autism Spectrum Disorder to communicate with first responders, through the provision of a special ID card indicating their diagnosis.

Notes Illinois State Representative Sue Scherer, this card will "help protect those with autism as well as enable emergency personnel to better do their job,” according to WAND TV.