First responders get training in autism

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – First responders from across the state were in Albuquerque on Thursday to learn how to help children with autism and people during emergencies.

Dozens of firefighters, officers and social workers learned how to recognize the signs of autism. They were also given new tools and techniques.

For example, an autistic child may not want to leave the home if there’s a fire. If that happens, extreme action may be needed – like wrapping the child in a blanket to get him or her out.

APD Sgt. Ferris Simmons has an autistic child.

“So, I think it’s a guaranteed factor that officers, fire deptartment, social workers, first responders are going to respond to a family affected by autism and it’s typically a situation of crisis,” said Simmons.

The class also learned visual cues to use to help them communicate with people who can’t talk.

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