Autism Journal Club

An Exploration of Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Needs and Interactions with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sarune Savickaite will be presenting a paper by Ralley, Bowers-Campbell, Love and Campbell (2020) An Exploration of Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Needs and Interactions with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Abstract Semi-structured interviews were employed to (a) characterize LEOs’ knowledge of ASD, (b) understand interactions between LEOs and individuals with ASD, and (c) identify training needs to prepare LEOs for interactions with the ASD community. Researchers utilized a constructivist grounded theory approach to analyze data from 17 participants: (a) six LEOs, (b) six adults with ASD, and (c) five caregivers. Common themes included the (a) potential for misinterpretations of behavior of individuals with ASD; (b) helpfulness of an identification system/symbol for ASD; (c) need for interactive, mandatory training unique to LEOs’ needs; and, (d) importance of building community connections between LEOs and individuals with ASD. Findings are discussed within the context of previous research related to law enforcement and ASD.