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View Diary: Sheriff Beats 4'11" Man With Down's Syndrome -- After Being Told He Has Down's Syndrome. Update. (172 comments)

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  •  I used to train police recruits in the '60s in DC (20+ / 0-)

    how to recognize and properly engage all manner of mental illnesses.  I interned in the Psychodrama Department at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and we would, with the help of a number of hospital patients, spend several sessions with new recruits, two or three times a year.  A very effective program, much appreciated by the community - now gone with the demise of St. E and the erosion of the whole public mental health system.

    Our son is a 22 year old, fairly high functioning autistic man.  Not quite independent outside our reach and awareness, but is known and loved by every store clerk we've ever shopped.  He could manage most of the details of walking around on his own, but would get very agitated in unfamiliar situations even though his basic nature is soft and generous.   I greatly fear that should he chance into some odd ball situation involving the police, something like this might happen.  Every few years, I take him to the local PD and introduce him around.   He will normally introduce himself around - very polite.  He's great with name tags.  "Hello Officer Whoever."  We chat calmly about "rules of engagement", stressing trust.  He shows them his fanny  pack where he keeps his photo ID and a "heads up" card for strangers, just in case . . .   We're due to do it again.  Whatever it takes.

     

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