Milestones Police Training Offers Practical Strategies to First Responders

Last month, over 100 first responders gathered at the La Casa Bella Party Center in Oakwood Village, OH, for a training about autism and how to interact with individuals with ASD. The training, led by Milestones Autism Resources Program Director Beth Thompson, allowed participants to learn how to handle common issues like eloping, sensory overload, and communication challenges. At least 40 local police departments were represented as well as firefighters, school security and special agents from the FBI.

“The autism community knows the danger of first responders not receiving the training they need to work with individuals on the autism spectrum,” said Thompson. “Milestones is proud to provide that education to our community of first responders.”

During the training, the crowd also heard from a panel of self-advocates and parents of individuals with ASD. Nathan Morgan, who joined the Milestones team in February as an Early Childhood & School Age Coordinator, was one of the panelists in attendance.

“As a social worker, it was enlightening to hear the diverse perspective of the officers,” said Morgan. “As an autism self-advocate, it was empowering to share my voice and perspectives to promote positive interactions between persons with autism, their loved ones, and the officers serving the community.”

The training was co-hosted by SEALE Taskforce Academy and FOP George Murray Lodge 67.

“I felt there was a need for our officers to be better educated on the subject of dealing with people with autism,” Chief Marty Stemple from SEALE Academy. “This is just one more challenge our officers face, and we need to be proactive and seek to educate ourselves.”

Some of the organizations that were represented included: Bedford Heights Police Department, Brunswick Division of Police, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Heights Police Department, Cleveland Metroparks Ranger Department, Glenwillow Police Department, Northfield Village Police Department, Parma Heights Police Department, Pepper Pike Police Department and Willoughby Police Department.

Milestones provides in-depth consultations and trainings for professionals, school districts, agencies, and professional organizations customized to their particular needs and identified goals. Consultation and training topics includes: developing self-advocacy skills across the age span, creative ideas for community engagement for all functioning levels, pre-employment resources and independent living models, job coach training, and developing natural supports.

If you are interested in scheduling an agency consultation or training with Milestones, Please complete this intake form or call 216.464.7600.  


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