#37 - Emergency Responder Preparation for Individuals with Special Needs


When 911 is called and an individual with special needs is on the scene, it can be at best confusing and at worse fatal.  It is important for caregivers and providers to prepare in advance.

Dennis Debbbaudt has spent over 25 years providing training for first responders who may come into contact with individuals who have differing abilities.  He has since produced over 40 related books, reports and training videos. He has and is creating a training curriculum for departments around the US and globally.

On today's show, Dennis shares with us what we can be doing as parents and/or care providers to prepare for an emergency and the potential interaction with first responders. 

Mentioned in This Episode

(click to be directed to the web page)

Dennis named the 3 primary reasons individuals with disabilities are coming into contact with police. They are:

  • Suspicious behavior

  • Separation from care provider

  • Behavior that becomes aggressive or harmful to self and/or others

Parents and providers can prepare for potential interactions by:

  • Writing up information about the person at risk (Dennis gives a list of what to include and what to do with it)

  • Have tools of disclosure (Dennis shares many) to alert first responders an individual with disabilities may be on the scene.

  • Inquire of departments if they have been trained and what the training included.

Training and resources for emergency first responders, parents, educators and providers can be found at autismriskmanagement.com

An extensive selection of videos are available at debbaudtlegacy.com and can easily be customized to fit into any training program. 

This show is part of a 12 episode safety series. Listen to other topics in the series via your favorite podcast app or directly on the LOMAH website