AES would like to invite you to an information session on a new initiative being introduced by the Western Australian Police Force.
The population of Western Australia is very diverse. We know that the police can come in to contact with people who have a range of differing disabilities. A section of this group includes children and adults who are on the Autism spectrum.
Therefore the WA Police Force are introducing a special alert on the police system for individuals with Autism. When officers encounter someone who has Autism, they can view the alert and it will list some basic instructions for the officer. This will let them know the best way to approach and speak to the person and includes information on what the person doesn’t like, such as loud noises, flashing lights or physical contact. The alert would also include special interests such as animals, dinosaurs, Pokémon etc. for the little ones.
The information will also assist officers when encountering an emergency situation, such as a missing child who has Autism. The information such as likes or dislikes, favourite places could prove vital in an emergency situation and assist officers enormously.
The alert is completely voluntary, and up to the parent/carer to participant. The only people to view this alert will be police officers. The information would not be shared with anyone else. The police are aiming to create a very positive and supportive initiative towards individuals on the spectrum by creating a safety net and peace of mind for their families/ carers. They are very keen for everyone to understand that this register does not have any links towards any individual having a criminal record. If police have a better understanding of Autism and how it affects the individual, it can only be a positive.
In order to have the alert placed on a child/adult, there is a document that needs to be filled out. It is then added to the police database where the alert becomes active. So if a child or adult comes into contact with the police in any capacity, the information on how best to support the child is readily accessible to the police officer.
The Autism Alert is about protecting any individual with ASD no matter how young or how old your child is. They could be 2 years old or they could be 50. There are no age limits. It’s about keeping your child safe from dangerous situations, possible abduction attempts, eloping from home or school, and all the numerous other situations small children with (and without) Autism can find themselves in.
The WA Police Force are also in the process of introducing an Autism First responders training package to their officers. This is to increase the police officers knowledge of the disorder.
AES strongly supports this important program. We encourage all parents to attend this information session so you can be fully aware of the benefits of this initiative, ask questions, feel comfortable with the process and know how you can register your child. The session will presented by Senior Constable Mark Gaunt from the Mental Health Co-Response Team.
Mark has a personal interest in this initiative as he is not just a police officer, he is a father of an autistic child. Come along and hear first-hand about the directive from Mark. There is absolutely no pressure for you to sign your child up to the ‘alert,’ but rather this is an educational talk for families in order to keep your child safe.
Sessions will be held from 10.00am - approx 12.00pm on:
Monday 9 April 2018 in Kingsley - registrations are closed.
Monday 14 May 2018 in Beeliar - registrations are closed.
Wednesday 16 May 2018 in Kelmscott - registrations are closed.