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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experience Autism: Effectiveness of an Autism Training Program for Law Enforcement Officers
by Medina Del Rio, Lilian, Psy.D., Biola University, 2018, 103; 10791743
Abstract (Summary)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social interaction and social communication skills. High ASD prevalence rates have increased public concern about how persons diagnosed with the disorder will interact with others in their communities. Police officers routinely interact with people diagnosed with a variety of disabilities and mental illnesses. Current law enforcement training includes a broad focus on mental illness that may not be sufficient to prepare law enforcement officers to interact with persons diagnosed with ASD. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of a privately-owned ASD training program developed for law enforcement officers. A total of 195 police officers participated in this study during 3 separate training events at 2 police departments in Southern California. Results showed a significant increase in participants’ knowledge of core ASD symptoms in 4 out of 6 program training modules. In addition, participants reported gains in the following domains: perceived confidence in interacting with persons with ASD, perceived practicality of providing accommodations for people diagnosed with ASD, and perceived relevance to participants’ work as police officers. The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations are made regarding future presentations of the training and future areas of research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Abouezzeddine, Tania, Eltiti, Stacy
School: Biola University
Department: Rosemead School of Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Disability studies, Law enforcement, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Autism, Clinical Psychology, Disabilities, Law enforcement, Mental health, Training
Publication Number: 10791743
ISBN: 978-0-355-85682-8
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