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Premier First Responder Training

Partnership in Safety and Awareness 

The Autism Society of Florida provides autism training for police officers and other first responders with information and life saving techniques to assist in encounters between professionals and children and adults with autism.


Training includes recognizing the signs of ASD, handling behavioral challenges, de-escalation strategies, elopement issues, helpful resources and much more.


Contact the Autism Society of Florida and join the more than 12,000 law enforcement professionals who have received our Premier Autism First Responder Training.




Video produced for Autism Society of Florida by Zachary Hoaglund to highlight the importance of autism training for police officers and other first responders. Featuring Trainers, Executive Captain Martin Hedelund and Margi Hedelund. 

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Required Law Enforcement Training in Autism

In 2017, House Bill 39 created Florida Statute 943.1727 which required the creation of continued law enforcement employment training related to autism spectrum disorder. This training is part of the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission Specialized Training Program pursuant to Rule 11B-35.007, F.A.C. Courses in the Specialized Training Program are designed to enhance an officer’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in a specific area and may be credited toward an officer’s mandatory retraining, pursuant to Rule 11B-27.00212, F.A.C. 


  • Recognize the signs of autism spectrum disorder, typical behaviors of individuals on the spectrum, and best practices for how officers can respond when dealing with individuals on the autism spectrum

  • Understand how witnesses, family members, caregivers, service providers, and teachers can help an officer recognize and respond to a person who may have autism

  • Understand the many ways autism can negatively impact a person’s ability to successfully communicate, and learn about some of the technologies that can aid in communication

  • Recognize behavioral challenges often found in autism and develop techniques to effectively interact and communicate with them during high stress situations

  • Create strategies to de-escalate social, emotional or behavioral responses to a situation and understand when and how to act to prevent serious injury

  • Identify the common reasons for calls for service of people with autism and strategies you can use when responding

  • Identify the key factors surrounding wandering, elopement and affinity for water many children and adults exhibit and the reasons why

  • Become familiar with local resources available to assist you in supporting and protecting children and adults with autism.

  • List strategies for responding to a suspicious person call involving a person with ASD.

  • Understand some of the common outcomes to interactions with a person on the autism spectrum, including the typical steps of transport and processing that are sometimes required in such an outcome.

Tour de Force 4 Autism


#TourdeForce4Autism is an Autism Society of Florida event providing adults with autism the opportunity to tour a police station and learn about law enforcement. This program gives officers a better understanding of people with autism by having up close and personal interactions and receive first hand knowledge.


A huge win for everyone! 

Special thanks to Broward Sheriff's Office 

and Executive Captain Martin Hedelund

Contact us for more information

PHOTOS  • Trainings, Tours, Meet and Greet

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