MONROE, Conn. -- The Monroe Police Department recently took part in the April 2 "Lighting it up Blue" for autism awareness campaign held by Autism Speaks each year.
According to the Autism Society of America, "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults on the autism spectrum typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities."
Taking part in the annual campaign is important, because studies show that a person with autism is seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than others.
Added with an autistic person’s social differences and inability to communicate effectively, these interactions often lead to misunderstandings, and sometimes tragedy, if officers don't understand the disease or how to interact with the person.
Autism Speaks offers a variety of information for law enforcement and the general public to help them understand how to interact with someone with ASD. To learn more, click here.