As part of our rotational patches, in the month of April you will see our officers wearing the pictured Autism Awareness patch to show support for those living on the autism spectrum including members of our own families, our friends and members of our Tukwila community.
Per recent CDC studies, autism is recognized as affecting approximately 1 in 36 children in the U.S. It is a difficult and challenging condition that manifests in a wide range of behaviors in those individuals impacted by it. As time has gone on, understanding and training on the unique needs of autistic individuals and how to best respond and interact with them has become an integral part of training that our officers undergo. Learning how to slow the situation down, communicate both verbally and non-verbally, understanding stimming, reducing sensory overload such as emergency lights and sirens and other methods have been extremely effective in assisting us with communicating with and assisting those on the autism spectrum in need of assistance.
We encourage everyone to take a minute to learn about autism and how to best support individuals living on the autism spectrum.