Ardmore police get proactive about autism - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Ardmore police get proactive about autism

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Rhys Preston, 5, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. (KTEN) Rhys Preston, 5, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Her twin sons were 18 months old when Tasha Preston saw that something was different about Rhys.

"We noticed that he was not staying on the same developmental path that his sibling was," Preston said.

After years of testing, Rhys, now 5, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Experts say autistic individuals may not understand police commands in high-stress situations. That can lead to safety concerns for the person and the officer.

That's why Ardmore police are learning how to better respond to calls for help involving people with autism.

Relatives of people with autism can fill out a police profile that will flag the name and address if an officer is called.

"It's labeled an 'autism emergency form,' but anyone with special needs can use this form," police spokesman Capt. Keith Ingle explained. "Fill it out and we will put it on the attached address."

We're told there are hundreds of people in the Ardmore area who have been diagnosed with autism, a disability that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others.


Ardmore Police Department autism emergency information form

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