We teach them to obey the laws, stay out of dangerous situations, and respect police officers and authority figures. By cooperating with first responders, we want to reduce negative interactions between police officers and neurodiverse youth. Violent and traumatic interactions between law enforcement officers and adults with special needs are painful for both sides, so it’s best to be open to training to increase the chances of safe interaction.
We used the “Be Safe” video as our basic teaching material. Volunteers prepared each lesson plan with pictures, interactive games, and role plays to articulate each terminology and teach neurodiverse children and their families what and how to react to the police officer’s instructions and command.
Peer 1 on 1 is a student-led non-profit organization that supports neurodiverse children and their families in both North and South California. On August 20, 2022, seven volunteers from Peer 1 on 1 went to the Irvine community center to train some neurodiverse children aged between 10 to 18 on how to stay safe with police officers. It is part of our SNAP program, special needs awareness program. We all hope that our children will never have an unpleasant encounter with the police.
It took us about 4 hours to finish all 7 lessons. The children there were quite excited to join each game and the feedback we got from parents was very positive. “My son learned so much from this training and it was such a great success to deliver an important topic to our children. I would like to get your PowerPoint then we can review it again. It is a great success and we all look forward to more pieces of training.” This is from Yolanda, a parent. Our volunteers meanwhile, learned so much from the preparation of the training. Not only did they learn how to work with police officers, they also understood more about neurodiverse children through interactions and communication during the training.