Research suggests that a substantial percentage of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder encounter the police in their lifetime. Police interactions are stressful events for anyone but can be especially stressful and problematic for Autistic people. When developing any type of training program for law enforcement, it is important to include the views of multiple stakeholders, including those with lived experiences. Given the importance of including Autistic voices in research, we obtained input from Autistic adults on their views regarding the challenges police may face when interacting with people with ASD, as well as their recommendations on how those interactions could be improved. The goal of this webinar is to provide an overview of the findings of this research, focusing on targeted recommendations for law enforcement on how future encounters can be better managed.
Presenter: Alisha Salerno-Ferraro is currently completing her Ph.D. at York University in Psychology and Law. Her research broadly focuses on the intersection of mental health, disability and the criminal justice system. Alisha’s Master’s and Dissertation research focuses on improving police response to Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is also the co-founder of a not-for-profit organization for Autistic youth and adults.