submitted by John Langan

On June 20 and again on August 19, several families with children on the Autism spectrum helped to educate over 60+ police officers that have volunteered to serve as SROs during the 2018-2019 school year.

As part of these police officers’ week-long training of class presentation and situation role play, they were given a unique opportunity to have personal interaction with a wide range of Autistic children and their parents.

Kandi Alexander, the founder of a local private parent support group called “Wespeak” a parent group of Lake County members on Facebook, which has over 800+ members, has been sharing her story called “The Alexander’s Journey” about herself and her son Derek to CIT officers’ since 2015.  Over the years, she has been asked to come back repeatedly.

Since 2015, she has expanded and created a program that now includes several families so that the officers can receive a broad sense of the different age groups and behaviors of these growing children.  She now brings families of preschool through 12K and into actual adulthood.

Her programs allow these parents and their children to speak and share their thoughts and concerns and allow the officers to ask questions to the parents as well as their children this interaction really gives these officers firsthand experience in dealing with the children with Autism of all ages and abilities.

As parents, we are always concerned about the very first encounter of the officer to a non-verbal or behavioral issued child.

Kandi also brings in professionals to cover these issues so that the police officers can have a better understanding of how to address these individuals. So this training along with the opportunity to listen to and speak with the parents and children on the spectrum has been priceless to the officers and offers comfort to the families knowing that these officers are truly beginning to have a much better understanding on how to deal with folks with Autism and other disabilities as it takes away the stigma of what disabilities are about and really just how able (not disabled) our children are.


2nd advocacy cit autism training day:) summer 2018 Lake County Sheriff's Office Clermont Police Department (FL) Lake County Schools Dream Acres for Autism, Inc with South Southlake Autism and Behavior Services The Alexander's Journey Autism Family Fun Day*

Posted by Kandi Lynn Alexander on Friday, August 10, 2018

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