Like many others, I was horrified by the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police. Hopefully, many good things should come from the protests to reform the police departments. These reforms should also help the autism community. Disabled people have one of the highest rates of being killed by police and this is scary for me.
My family has had experiences with the police multiple times for different things over the years, as is common with special needs families. A number of years ago, I was having an anxiety episode from a PANDAS flare and I ran from the car at a stop light. My mom had to tackle me so I wouldn’t get hit by a car. The Lake County Sheriff’s police were called and they helped my mom get me back in the car. My mom said they were very helpful and understanding. The officers told her they recently had training on PANDAS and were aware of the issues. We have had other experiences with the police that did not go as well and maybe the lack of training in those instances was the difference. Hopefully, training will be a big part of the reforms coming. Thankfully, I am not having PANDAS issues anymore.
My dad was worried that if he or my mom were injured and alone with me, other people may not know how to help me and I may be in danger. He created a card (pictured) that they both now carry all the time. I encourage other families with similar situations to do something like this.