This issue focuses on ASET's planned efforts for 2016 & beyond...
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Autism Safety Zone - Spring 2016 Newsletter - What's New with ASET
ASET has Launched it's "Train the Trainer Program"
We recently conducted a training for a mixed audience of over 40 first responders in Sonoma County, CA.  Sonoma County Regional Parks hosted the training, and since they want to continue the trainings in our absence, they signed on for the "Train the Trainer Program."  More than 20 first responders stayed after the presentation to learn how to train their own communities and agencies on this subject matter.  Many of these first responders have a personal connection to autism.  We are very inspired by this overwhelming response!  A special thanks goes out to Park Ranger, Beth Wyatt, and mom of 2 children on the spectrum, who made our training in Sonoma happen!!  We do hope to include this program in our upcoming New Jersey Training as well.  Read more about our CA training.
ASET's efforts in
North Dakota
As mentioned in our winter newsletter, we will soon be bringing our training to North Dakota, thanks to our second local grant received from Autism Speaks.  In June, Matt will train in all three of North Dakota's major cities - Bismarck, Grand Forks & Fargo.  At each location, he will be presenting at the training academies and local police departments. In the evenings Matt will also present at local venues which will be open to families, first responders, and the entire community.  A Train the Trainer Program is also being offered to further the training after Matt leaves. What a great opportunity for the state of North Dakota!
Lack of Knowledge in the Criminal Justice System

I have become aware, over the past 12 years I have been involved in autism training for first responders, of a significant knowledge deficiency in the area of developmental disabilities/autism (DD/ASD) at nearly every level of the criminal justice system. It has become clear that almost no prosecutors, defense attorneys, Judges, victim advocates, probation officers and other professionals involved in the criminal justice process, have had any meaningful training on the specific challenges and needs of this population. In addition, it has become clear that there is little to no collaboration between first responders, school systems, case management agencies and families with respect to ensuring safe and just outcomes for persons on the autism spectrum. The end result has been that persons with developmental disabilities and on the Autism spectrum are being prosecuted and sentenced in courts where there is little or no consideration for their disability. Even more troubling, many persons with DD/ASD who have been victims of crime, have not seen their perpetrators brought to justice because of this lack of training.  Cases of injustices to this population is happening more and more.  I get regular phone calls from very distraught parents. 

My ultimate goal is to set up a Developmental Disability/ASD Response Team (DART) in every community by training professionals at ALL LEVELS of the criminal justice system, to ensure that cases are handled at each and every stage by personnel educated on the specific needs and challenges of suspects, witnesses and victims affected by DD/ASD. This would mean that each person would receive fair, just and compassionate treatment in these difficult situations.  I recently learned that all judges in Pennsylvania have been required to have training on autism.  That is such a positive step in the right direction!  I hope to one day put in for a grant to get some DART teams up & running in Maine. Then, I would like to take the concept nationwide.  You can read more about DART on our website.

I recently was contacted by the Autism Society of Oregon to participate in a radio program/panel discussion of professionals who are very concerned about this very topic.  It will be a live radio panel discussion with the "Prison Pipeline" airing this summer.  The Prison Pipeline is a radio program dedicated to educating the public about the Oregon criminal justice system, addressing the root causes of crime, and challenge the status quo.  It's so wonderful to hear there are others wanting to change these current injustices with this vulnerable population!


Upcoming Trainings...

4/26/16 - Speaker at International Crisis Intervention Team Conference in Chicago, Il, "How to Make Your Autism Presentation a Life-Saver"

4/29/16 - Presque Isle, ME - Community Training - sponsored by Aroostook Autism Support Group 

4/30/16 - Presque Isle, ME - Keynote Speaker, Autism Challenge Weekend 

5/3/16 - ME Chiefs of Police Roadshow 

5/10/16 - ME Chiefs of Police Roadshow

5/13/16 - Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office - Law Enforcement & Community Training - Flemington, NJ 

5/26/16 - Knox Regional Communication Center, Dispatch & Community First Responders - Rockland, ME 

6/7/16 - Fargo,  ND - First Responders & Community Wide Training 

6/8/16 - Fargo & Grand Forks, ND, Training Academies (daytime at both locations);  
First Responders & Community Wide Training (evening) - Grand Forks

6/9/16 - Bismarck, ND, - Training Academy (AM), Bismarck PD (afternoon); First Responders & Community Wide Training) 7 - 8:30pm

9/8/16 - Augusta, ME School Department 

10/13/16 - Brewer, ME School Department 

RSU #50, Stacyville, ME - TBD


Grant Efforts in Maine!!

Since the announcement that ASET was the recipient of a local grant to do more autism safety trainings for first responders & community members in Maine, there has been a lot of activity!  In March, Matt provided training to the Emergency Management Team of RSU #38, and has spoken at the Southern Maine Autism Convention.  Six agencies quickly jumped on board to receive trainings in the fall, including 4 school systems - Brewer, Stacyville, Augusta & Unity.  There will also be 2 trainings at the Knox Regional Communications Center for dispatchers, first responders and community, and a training and speaking engagement in Presque Isle.   The trainings are at no cost to the host agencies and will be FREE events. 

About Matt Brown and ASET:

Matt Brown is a recently retired law enforcement officer, who for the past twelve years, has trained over 6,000 police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, as well as educators, on preventing, recognizing, and responding to crisis situations involving persons on the autism spectrum.  His combination of experience as both a retired law enforcement officer and the proud father of a child on the autism spectrum provides him with the credibility needed to tackle this challenging issue and inspire communities to begin autism safety programs in their local areas.  He is also the owner and founder of ASET, AUTISM SAFETY EDUCATION & TRAINING,, which provides  much needed training nationwide.

As Spring arrives and the temperature starts to rise, so does the incidences of WANDERING. Extra vigilance is needed with individuals on the spectrum. Please see all of our resources on wandering at our website for great tips to keep your loved ones safe!

Recent Testimonial from California Training

"I am so grateful for the training Matt Brown provided for Sonoma County Regional Parks.  Through my very first contact with him through email to the day of the presentation, Matt and his wife Nancy were extremely friendly and professional.  I had no doubt that the training would be high quality and invaluable for our department.  Our Parks often have water sources within their boundaries and it is important for our Rangers to know the significance of water and people on the spectrum.  Not only was this training attended by our Park Rangers, it was attended by other members of the first responders community within Sonoma County.  About forty people attended from more than ten different agencies.  I heard nothing but positive feedback from those in attendance.  Matt engaged the audience and reached out with personal stories from his experiences as a parent.  His passion for the training was evident.  I look forward to continuing Matt’s work.  Through the train the trainer program more than half of us were trained in presenting the program.  I am grateful for his encouragement and support as I work to continue the training in Sonoma County."

- Beth Wyatt, Park Ranger, Sonoma County Regional Parks

* read more testimonials

ASET is very excited to be returning this spring to one of our favorite places, Aroostook County, ME, where Meaghan Swanson and Lisa Brewer have done absolutely amazing things for families affected by autism. Their Aroostook Autism Support Group has done so much for so many, and we are thrilled to be providing more training and speaking at their fundraising event!

Matt Brown (now ASET) has trained over 6,100 First Responders & Community Members since 2004. Find out why he needs to come to your community.
Copyright © 2016 ASET - Autism Safety Education & Training, All rights reserved.

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