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Autism Safety & Risk Management, Part 1

Posted Aug 07 2009 7:17pm

Ever heard of Dennis Debbaubt? If so, you probably appreciate him as much as I do. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you need to become familiar with him. And you’ll be glad you did.

Dennis Debbaubt, parent of a young man with autism, has a background in investigative journalism and, as a professional investigator and law enforcement trainer, he has written or co-written over 30 articles and books since 1993, including Autism, Advocates and Law Enforcement Professionals: Recognizing and Reducing Risk Situations for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dennis has also created several training videos which have been viewed by hundreds of law enforcement and emergency services agencies throughout North America and the United Kingdom.

Dennis spends his time traveling and presenting seminars on Autism Risk and Safety. He uses a multi-media approach to train law enforcement, first responders, and emergency services personnel about autism and how it affects individuals they might come in contact with in the field. He teaches them about the sensory issues commonly associated with autism, fearfulness and communication issues that can drastically impact how a first responder can help an autistic individual, and what to do in various situations involving children and adults with autism. In addition to training law enforcement personnel and first responders, Dennis also presents seminars for parents, care providers, and educators, discussing many helpful safety tips in the home, at school, and in the community, and how to develop partnerships with law enforcement agencies and emergency services. Dennis promotes autism awareness and understanding in an area that is of the utmost importance - our children’s safety.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend one of Dennis Debbaubt’s Autism Risk & Safety seminars. I came home with pages of notes and helpful materials that I couldn’t wait to share with all of you. More importantly, I came home with the knowledge that we parents have the most influence in how safe our children are - and how proactive we are in our risk management. We parents don’t have all the answers about autism. But you have more answers than anybody else about your child. No one knows more about your child than you do, so share that knowledge with those that need to know. Dennis Debbaubt’s message is to be proactive - don’t leave it up to anyone else. We have to do this for the safety of our children, no matter how old they are.

Over the next week, I’ll be posting segments from the seminar about what you can do at home for autism safety and risk prevention, what you can do in your community, and provide a list of essential resources. Check back soon for my next post on things you can do at home and school to protect your child with autism. We cannot eliminate risk, but we can manage it.

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