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This issue focuses on ASET's efforts in 2016 & plans for 2017.....
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Autism Safety Zone - Fall 2016 Newsletter - What's New with ASET
Bus Drivers in Readfield, ME Receive Training
After a training ASET conducted for a school district earlier this year, a bus driver supervisor who happened to attend the session, immediately saw the need for her drivers to receive the training & hired ASET.  Bus drivers have reported having students in an active “meltdown,” with no idea how to intervene to ensure a safe outcome. The bus drivers that attended the session indicated it was very useful information, and that they will incorporate many of the safety suggestions into their daily routines.

Over the past 4 years, as ASET has provided safety training to educators, we have learned that too often, other persons that engage with students outside of the classroom are left “in the dark” as to the safety issues inherent with this population.  The successful training in Readfield inspired us to write a grant for 2017 to bring our training to more transportation officials in the most rural areas of Maine, including Hancock, Washington, Aroostook County, and Piscataquis County.  If we receive the grant, we will be reaching out to school systems in those areas.  If you are in those counties, and are interested in having your bus drivers trained please let us know.
ASET's RESULTS in
North Dakota - A Future Model for Other States?

This past June, over 200 individuals were trained in ND!  Seven training sessions total were held in Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck, North Dakota, including officers from 16 separate law enforcement agencies, firefighters and EMT’s from at least 5 fire departments, and workers from several school districts, case management and child protective agencies, as well as a good number of parents and foster parents. Training academy officials and police chiefs and command staff were among the attendees.  
 
Following the trainings, the directors of both police academies indicated it is their intention to incorporate the training into the regular curriculum of their new officer classes from this point forward!  This is a huge step to ensuring the sustainability of the training.  I was able to identify several potential trainers, almost all of whom are police officers or firefighters, who have family members with autism.  Nancy and I have provided them with the training materials and will be supporting them as they conduct ongoing training there on there ground in North Dakota.

We would not have been able to have such a successful trip without the dedication and support of some amazing folks in North Dakota, Barbara Wilhem Field and Sherris and Tony Richards from the ND Autism Connection.
 
My takeaway from this experience is: (1) police particularly “don’t know what they don’t know” and often cannot appreciate the importance of the training until they are actually in the audience and hearing the information. I also find that when we are able to get families affected by autism in their communities to attend alongside the officers, it has a powerful impact on the command staff, and motivates them to want to incorporate safety programs around wandering and registration, etc; (2) The “template” of getting the training approved by the state POST authority, and then ensuring a session at the training academy is key to creating sustainability of the training on a larger scale, and (3) I firmly believe that identifying and cultivating  a group of autism parents that are also first responders who are motivated to conduct the training is absolutely key to maintaining enthusiasm for the programs.
 
Nancy and I are very appreciative of the opportunity to bring this critical information to North Dakota, which had not had any meaningful autism safety training before.  We feel it has made an impact, and we are committed to continuing to work with the folks we have met, to ensure the training continues.  I met many wonderful and dedicated first responders who immediately understood the importance of the information once they heard it.  

It was a great experience, and something I KNOW we can replicate in other areas of the US and even other countries that have not been exposed to this critical information.  If your area is in need of Autism Safety training, let us know and we will see what we can do!

- Matt Brown, President & Trainer, ASET - Autism Safety Education & Training

Getting Maine Dispatchers Trained!!
 Although ASET has made steady progress in regards to training law enforcement and other first responders on a statewide basis, one area that still requires attention is the widespread training of dispatchers.  We have trained several dozen dispatchers over the years (and recently at the Knox County Communications Center) and equipped them with a form that includes a list of questions for them to ask when a call comes in regarding a person with Autism who has wandered and is missing.  Astonishingly enough, less than a week after the form was input into one state police dispatch center, it was utilized by a state police dispatcher to locate a child with Autism who had wandered.  He was able to solicit critical information from the panicked mother, which led to the quick and safe recovery of the child! 

We have, therefore, put in for a grant to train over 100 dispatchers across the state since every emergency call ends up in the hands of a dispatcher and it is essential that they acquire an understanding of the critical nature of emergencies involving persons with Autism, particularly wandering incidents and catastrophic meltdowns.  We have come to learn just how such training can have a life-changing impact in an emergency.  We can bring this training to your state as well!
Upcoming Trainings...

10/13/16 - Brewer, ME School Department & local first responders

10/17/16 - ME Autism Leadership Team - sponsored by MAIER

11/3/16 - ME Autism Leadership Team - sponsored by MAIER

11/3/16 - RSU 13 - Unity, ME Schools & local first responders

11/4/16 - Breakout Speaker at ME Administration of Services for Children with Disabilities (MADSEC), Fall Conference 

RSU #50, Stacyville, ME - TBD


 

Grant Progress in Maine!!

Since the announcement earlier this year that ASET received a local grant to do more autism safety trainings for educators and first responders, Matt has provided six trainings and spoken at two conferences, including the Southern Maine Autism Conference.  4 school systems - RSU 39, Brewer, Augusta & Unity were among the grant recipients.  We estimate that by the end of the year, Matt will have trained over 500 individuals under our Maine 2016 grant.  All trainings were at no cost to the host agencies thanks to the grant from Autism Speaks.

About Matt Brown and ASET:


Matt Brown is a recently retired law enforcement officer, who for the past twelve years, has trained over 6,500 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,
www.aset911.com, which provides  much needed training nationwide.  His wife, Nancy, is an integral part of ASET, not only scheduling and coordinating all training sessions, but also researching and writing grants, and she especially enjoys working closely with those that have committed to our "train-the-trainer" program. 
Recent Testimonial from North Dakota Training

"Meeting Matt Brown was one of the best opportunities of my life! It was much needed training in an area North Dakota was lacking! Sometimes as a parent, we need to make decisions regarding the safety of our children, and one of mine was reaching out to Matt & his wonderful wife Nancy! I've learned so much from Matt, and it warms my heart to know that future law enforcement officers, teachers, social workers, families and organizations that work with special needs children will have the opportunity to learn what Matts family & mine already know, Autism is always going to be around, and is gaining ground daily, it's up to us as family members, care givers, education specialists, and government agencies to take the necessary measures in keeping our communities safe for those who are unable to do so themselves! Thank you so much Matt, Nancy, Autism Speaks, and all others who made this possible, as well as all those who attended the training. Together we can change lives through knowledge!"

- Barbara Wilhem Field, parent, Grafton, ND

* read more testimonials
 
ASET's
"Train the Trainer Program"
ASET launched it's "Train the Trainer" program in April so that we can have sustainable programs in each of the communities we touch with our trainings.  When we get interest from out of state, we now give them the option of adding in the "Train the Trainer" program.  To date, ASET now has 43 trainers in New Jersey, North Dakota & Sonoma County, CA!! We encourage those that are part of this program to share your stories & successes. 

We were thrilled to hear from a corrections supervisor who attended our training in California, and signed up for our train-the-trainer program. He has already incorporated the curriculum into the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office training programs!  Great work!
Matt Brown (now ASET) has trained over 6,600 First Responders & Community Members since 2004. Find out why he needs to come to your community.
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