LISLE, ILLINOIS – With the Center for Disease Control showing one in 68 children are now reported to be on the autism spectrum, there is a great need to educate the public. Persons on the autism spectrum have a wide range of communication, social and intellectual issues.
Giant Steps, a not-for-profit organization in Lisle is providing understanding and training to both the general public as well as first responders and safety professionals. Giant Steps has developed an autism training program for first responders.
Bridget O’Connor, the CEO of Giant Steps said,
“The training piece really is to provide education and to provide a bridge so that people out there who are trying to help have some information and better understanding of the challenges that people living with autism face every day.”
For those on the autism spectrum communication is the most difficult challenge. They may take longer to respond to something or be unable to relay their needs to someone. Children especially tend to wander from their “safety zone” leaving them frightened and unable to communicate. The key to helping people on the autism spectrum is to teach the general public what life is like being autistic. Giant Step’s training courses do just that for all who are interested especially first responders and safety personnel who will likely be the first to encounter someone who has wandered off.
Giant Steps’ autism training is free. They can provide anywhere from two to eight hours of training. For more information visit www.mygiantsteps.org.
The original article by Karen Meyer on the abc 7 Eyewitness news website can be read here