Local Group Gives Tips To People With Autism On How To Calmly Deal With Police Stops

CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) —    It’s a training day of sorts for people with autism.

A local group is giving people with autism tips on how to how to handle themselves if they’re stopped or confronted by police.

CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold met with the group and some of the students to talk about how important this knowledge can be.

“Just like my mom said to me once, I need to learn this, cause one day I won’t be living with them any more,” said Cameron Judd, “I’ll be living on my own.”

Lieutenant Stanley Campbell and his sister, actress Tisha Campbell Martin, are the founders of D.O.P.E. — De-escalating Officer Patrol Encounters.

They teamed up with Dr. Pamela Wiley at the LA Speech and Language Therapy Center to help show young people with autism how to handle being pulled over by the police.

“We also take them out of the car because they have sensory issues to let them know how it’s going to feel to be handcuffed and searched,” said Stanley Campbell.

Aggressive movements and loud voices, things that can go along with a typical traffic stop, can be quite anxiety provoking for people on the spectrum.

Campbell Martin has a 15-year-old with autism. He took this class just in time to learn how to drive.

“My son fidgets and we were like no no you can’t move your arms like that when you’re talking to an officer because he may  feel that that is putting his life in danger,” said Tisha Campbell Martin.

Doctor Wiley encourages the students to also carry an autism disclosure card, and hand it over with their drivers license, so officers know their movements and actions may be different but not dangerous.

“It also allows law enforcement to see the many faces of autism so you understand the range of responses these kids may exhibit during anxious situations,” Dr. Wiley says.

Tools for both students and law enforcement to make sure everyone stays safe.

If you want to take part in one of these classes, the next one is in June. For more information about classes click here.

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