Parents of Autistic Children POAC
poac

Making a Difference... Now!                  Phone 732-785-1099

 





Welcome to POAC's Autism Shield,
Keeping Those With Autism Safe in the
Home, School, and Community. 


First Responders
Police
Fire Fighters
EMTs
Families
Parents
Gransparents
Care Providers

Adults with ASD and Other
Developmental Disabilities
Group Homes
Assisted Living
Day Programs
Community
Bus Drivers
 School Nurses
Hospital Staff

15,000 Police & First Responders
Trained by POAC and Counting!
 


The safety of children and adults with autism has been and continues to be a primary concern and top priority at POAC.  Pioneers in safety training for police, fire fighters, and EMTs, POAC has provided training to first responders from every New Jersey County.  In many cases, entire departments have received this advanced training.  More recently, POAC has developed a companion workshop designed for caregivers, teachers, and child study team members.  This workshop gives participants the information needed to keep those with autism safe across the spectrum and throughout the life span, and includes a safety kit full of valuable resources.  

A third facet of Autism Shield is POAC's School Bus Driver and Personnel Training.  Parents consistently rank school transportation issues among the most problematic for their children with special needs. They cite issues including: escalation of behavioral problems of their children caused by lack of training and preparedness to handle these situations, bullying, and other social concerns.  According to the National Association of Pupil Transportation,
Read what people are saying about Autism Shield...
"After the entire department completed its block of instruction we did not have to wait long before one of our officers was required to put their training to use.  Your description of what autistic citizens do was incredibly accurate..." more
"This information is an important tool that will be utilized in our everyday policing..."  more
"I am sure that this valuable instruction will be very helpful in our future contacts with autistic children and adults..."  more
"With the rising numbers of children with autism in our communities, this training is a necessity for field officers who are more frequently coming in contact with this population..." more
First Responder Wireless News Article
up to 75 kids each year are left behind on school buses nationwide, some with disastrous results.  The vast majority of these children are autistic.   Most children with developmental disabilities spend several hours per week riding school transportation, yet drivers and aides have almost never received any training or information on developmental disabilities or on the intervention procedures these students are currently receiving.  The training which POAC has developed addresses all these issues and more.  


Contact POAC to find out how to schedule training at your school, police or fire department, or EMS squad. 

Parents have so many questions about keeping their young, adolescent, and adult children with autism safe.  There is a wealth of information available on this subject which POAC continually researches and compiles.  In many cases POAC has used the information to design and implement programming and resources.  Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:










Free Downloads for Police, Firefighters, EMT's and Famlies Living with Autism
Helping Police Officers Understand the Autistic
This article about POAC's Autism Shield program appeared in the New York Times.

All About Me Transportation Form
This form can be used by parents to let transportation staff know about their childs' specific needs.  This will ensure a safer, more enjoyable ride for all.

Avoiding Unfortunate Situations
This is a good basic handout for law enforcement officers and first responders to about autism..
Contact with Individuals with Autism: Effective Resolutions
This article, written for law enforcement officers and first responders, gives an overview of autism, common signs of autism, appropriate response, and what to do if a crime has been committed.
Information for Law Enforcement
This article outlines tips for successful resolution.
What Is Project Lifesaver
This article gives a description of Project Lifesaver, a tracking device for children and adults who wander, and contact information needed to access this service.
Autism, Epilepsy, Seizure's and First Aid
How to recognize the signs and basic first aid when you do.





















Read What People Are Saying About Autism Shield

"Knowing that the autistic population in our country is already very large and continuing to grow, I was immediately interested in your organization's training, but somewhat hesitant on how it would be received by the rank and file.  I can now say that collectively, our agency was very impressed at the quality of the training and the fact that you made the presentation extremely interesting and informative.  After the entire department completed its block of instruction we did not have to wait long before one of our officers was required to put their training to good use.  Your description of what autistic citizens do was incredibly accurate.  One of two incidents that occurred had a young child leave her house undetected and disappear.  As a result of your training, the officer immediately thought of the retention pond that was nearby and found our missing juvenile in short order."  - Stuart C. Brown, Chief of Police Township of Manalapan


"I would like to personally thank you on behalf of all the Police Academy Instructors and myself for presenting the Autism Shield program at the Police Academy on June 10th, 2009.  The information you provided was extremely informative and educational.  For those in the course who have never had the experience of encountering someone with an autism spectrum disorder, the information and useful tips were enlightening.  The instructors were so impressed and interested in the material you presented.  They asked so many questions and were truly moved by your personal experiences.  The first-hand experiences you spoke of truly hit home and made our officers aware of the many encounters that they may face when engaging someone with an autism spectrum disorder.  Not only did the training provide useful information for handling a law enforcement situation, but it also affected many people personally including those who love and care about someone with autism spectrum disorder.  This information is an important tool that will be utilized in our everyday policing." - Ramon Martinez, Captain/Commanding Officer Port Authority Police Academy

"On behalf of the Highland Park Police Department, I would like to thank you for taking the time to conduct autism awareness classes on April 20 and 27, 2009 for our officers and civilian staff.  I received very positive feedback and all of the attendees found the classes to be very informative and helped provide a better understanding and insight into dealing with persons with autism.  I am sure that this valuable instruction will be very helpful in our future contacts with autistic children and adults." - Stephen J. Rizzo, Chief of Police

"Through a dynamic presentation, we were given information on the condition of autism, its symptoms, and how they manifest in people with the diagnosis.  We were given information on how to help prevent injury to both people with autism and officers during contacts.  POAC informed our officers of Project Lifesaver, a program designed to help track and locate people who tend to wander.  The POAC training also taught officers behavioral de-escalation techniques and restraint and arrest options, and explained the problems involved with higher functioning people with autism who may be involved with the criminal justice system.  This training was a valuable asset and I feel it will help our officers recognize people with autism  in the community.  With the rising numbers of children with autism in our communities, this training is a necessity for field officers who are more frequently coming in contact with this population.  POAC charged no fee for this vital training and I sincerely hope that they will receive the funding they need to bring it to other departments throughout the state." - Albert C. Lawson, Chief of Police Lakewood Township

"I just wanted to take the time to personally thank you for the block of instruction you provided to our departments officers.  The information you provided will no doubt be very useful to any officer who may have contact with an autistic child.  I overheard many officers talking after your block of instruction and all were impressed."  -  Sgt. Michael T. Kucharski, South River Police Department

"On behalf of the Spring Lake Heights police officers and myself, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a most beneficial meeting concerning autistic children.  It has certainly given us a better understanding of autism.  We hope that in the future you will be available for any future concerns and assistance that we may need."  -  Chief David Petriken

"Thank you for the School Bus Driver Training program you presented to our staff earlier this year.  This was such a unique opportunity and I am not aware of this training
being offered by any other organization.  Our director of transportation said the feedback from her staff was excellent.  Continuity in the lives of those with autism is so important.  Students spend many hours on our school transportation vehicles each year and giving these dedicated employees access to information that will help them in their day to day interactions with our students is a win for all involved." - Robert Schweitzer, Director of Special Services

 
"The training of transportation personnel to meet the needs of autistic children has been a need identified by many local school districts.  Workshops provided by POAC Autism Services are greatly valued by the Brick School District.  Previous training provided by your organization addressing transportation needs of autistic children was extremely well received." - Alan F. Ferraro, Director of Special Services