National Autism Awareness Month

National Autism Awareness Month Brings Activities and Education to Douglas County
Posted on 04/05/2023
National Autism Awareness Month Brings Activities and Education to Douglas County

Minden, NV – April is National Autism Awareness month, and to raise awareness, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) wrapped a vehicle with colorful puzzle pieces for the fourth year in a row. The special wrap offers a way for children and adults with autism to meet the DCSO team in a casual setting and to encourage caretakers of those on the spectrum to sign up for the Douglas County Autism Recognition Alert Program.

The program creates a database where family members and caregivers can register people with autism with DCSO. The information provided stays confidential and is used to assist officers with the early recognition of a person’s disability and de-escalation techniques. By registering, DCSO can access the information provided in their dispatch system. An officer can search a person through their name or physical description. There is no charge to be enrolled in this program.Camaro

In addition to enrollment, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will provide an identification card that people with autism can present during a police encounter. The ID card will identify the individual as a person with autism and includes their emergency contact information.

“The Douglas County Autism Recognition Alert Program has been a huge benefit to our community and our department,” said Sheriff Dan Coverley. “We always strive to be better equipped to help people with special needs. Each year, we generate more sign-ups and awareness with the vehicle, and I’m honored to share this program with the community and our first responders.”

Click here to learn more about the Autism Recognition Alert Program.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty picking up social cues (social referencing) and understanding other individuals’ thoughts and intentions, making them vulnerable to a range of crimes, from fraud and theft to more violent crimes. Individuals with ASD are also generally taught compliance from a very young age, making them easy targets for abuse and victimization.

Individuals with autism wishing to see the wrapped vehicle and interact with deputies in an at-home setting are encouraged to email Investigator Jenkins at [email protected] to schedule a visit.

The car will also be displayed for the public to take pictures and register for the program at the Douglas County Autism Resource Fair put on by Family Support Council. The fair takes place at the CVIC Hall (1604 Esmeralda Ave, Minden, NV 89423) on April 15, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.