Autism Awareness Training for First Responders Teaches Emergency Personnel How to Respond to Individuals with Autism

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Center for Autism and Related Disorders and Institute for Behavioral Training partner to present trainings nationwide to teach emergency personnel how to interact with and respond to individuals with autism.

“Training first responders to recognize ASD is crucial,” said Cecilia H. Knight, director of IBT.

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT) today announced that they will partner to train first responders on autism in the month of April in response to autism awareness month. CARD is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has successfully treated thousands of individuals with autism since 1990. IBT has trained over 5,000 people across the U.S. and other countries since 2013. The free presentation, Autism for First Responders, will be presented in various cities across the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s announcement on March 27, 2014, autism impacts one in 68 children. One in 47 boys has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As more children, teens, and adults are impacted by ASD, police and other first responders will have interactions with this population.

Individuals with autism may struggle to communicate, make appropriate eye contact, or even respond to someone asking them their name. The behaviors that children and teens with ASD display vary greatly which is why autism is described as a spectrum disorder. However, parents and professionals agree that safety is a huge concern for everyone in this population as they may easily be distracted, lost, or even elope from their school or surroundings. Autism for First Responders will enable police and first responders to recognize the signs of ASD and react accordingly to minimize their own risk and that of the individuals with autism.

“Training first responders to recognize ASD is crucial,” said Cecilia H. Knight, director of IBT. “Helping a family find a child who has wandered away, protecting an adult with autism whose behavior is being misunderstood, or helping a paramedic know how to interact when a child is injured can truly make a life or death difference. Recognizing the signs of autism, knowing how to act, and knowing how to react is key.”

CARD has centers located across the U.S. Training will take place in local communities in Manhattan, Larchmont, and Fairport, N.Y.; Plymouth and Boston, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Austin, Texas; Chandler and Phoenix, Ariz.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Baton Rouge, La.; in California in Lafayette, Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, Woodland Hills, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Garden Grove, Temecula, Corona, Freemont, Roseville, Santa Clara, San Diego, and San Marcos; and in the nation’s capital. IBT’s training teaches the signs and symptoms of ASD, how to communicate with individuals who appear to be affected, and tips for first responders interacting with individuals on the spectrum.

For more information about the events, or to set up a training in your area, please visit or

About Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)
CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. CARD employs a dedicated team of nearly 2,000 individuals across the nation and internationally. For more information, visit or call (855) 345-2273.

About Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT)
IBT is considered the one-stop training hub for individuals at all levels who interact with, teach, care for, and treat individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other development disorders. IBT's programs educate students, parents, professionals, and caregivers on evidence-based techniques using applied behavior analysis (ABA), so they can maximize progress when working with any individual. For more information about IBT, visit

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