RANDOLPH, Mass., Aug. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most of us who encounter a child or adult engaging in challenging behavior in public can, and often do, choose to just ignore them. But what if that person is someone on the autism spectrum who is having difficulty communicating? What if your job requires that you interact with people who are exhibiting unusual or confusing behavior, or who aren't responding in typical ways? Given the rising incidence rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it is likely that all of us will regularly encounter children or adults with ASD.
When those encounters occur, all of us – from first responders to store clerks to parents at a playground – may be better able to diffuse difficult situations or contribute to successful encounters with people on the spectrum if we understand the basics about ASD.
Autism is a neurological disorder that affects the development of the brain. Characteristics include communication impairments, social skills deficits, and restrictive interests/repetitive behaviors. Below, May Institute offers some additional facts about ASD that may be helpful to first responders and the general public.
Whether you are a first responder or an ordinary citizen, remember to be patient with people who have ASD. If they are acting out or exhibiting unusual behavior, it is probably because they are upset about a troubling situation. They want things to get better as much as you do!
May Institute is an award-winning nonprofit organization with more than 60 years of experience in serving children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, and behavioral health needs. The organization provides educational, rehabilitative, and behavioral healthcare services to individuals, as well as training and consultation services to professionals, organizations, and public school systems. At more than 140 service locations across the country, highly trained staff work to create new and more effective ways to meet the special needs of individuals and families across the lifespan. For more information, call 800.778.7601 or visit www.mayinstitute.org.
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SOURCE May Institute