Seneca County Sheriff’s Office partners with Firelands SPOT to utilize autism sensory kits
Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday a partnership with Firelands Regional Medical Center in a program titled “Backing the Blue: First Responder Sensory Kits.”
Every day, law enforcement officers encounter individuals in emergencies. Not only do the emergencies differ from one another, but so do the individuals involved in them.
Deputies are trained to respond to situations with a certain protocol, however, certain protocols may not always be the best way to interact with people with autism, sensory processing disorders, or similar diagnoses, according to Seneca County Sheriff Fred Stevens.
“Recognizing the signs of autism and sensory disorders, and knowing effective ways to approach an individual on the spectrum, can minimize situations of risk or victimization of the individual and deputies,” Sheriff Stevens said in a news release.
The Firelands Children’s SPOT (Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapy) team hand-selected therapeutic items aimed to soothe, calm, and help enhance communication for individuals with sensory concerns.
After deputies completed training in how to utilize the kit, they each were given a sensory kit in a blue bag that they placed in their cruisers, and they will utilize them in those special encounters.