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Seek First Responders with CIT Training

If you or a loved one with autism experiences a crisis involving law enforcement, firefighters, or EMTs, what should you know? The first thing that you need to know is to ask for someone who has CIT training.

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is an intensive mental-health training provided to first responders. CIT training is available for law enforcement, emergency services responders, fire and rescue staff, dispatchers, jail staff, and school resource officers.

This training is nationally recognized and is designed to improve the way first responders respond to people with disabilities who may be experiencing a crisis. CIT training provides information about topics such as autism, substance abuse, intellectual disabilities, suicide trauma, medication management, crisis intervention, and verbal de-escalation techniques. The training also provides its trainees with a list of services and resources to connect residents to the appropriate help.

Before a crisis occurs, you can check with local agencies to see whether they have CIT-trained staff. If not, you can ask that they schedule training. ASNC provides CIT training for free; contact your local Autism Resource Specialist for more information. You can also request that your local managed care organization (MCO) provide the training in its region.

If you find yourself in a position that you have to call 911, always ask for a CIT-trained professional to respond. Teach your loved one, if able, to ask for a CIT professional. Let others who spend time with your loved one know that this option is available. These trained professionals wear CIT pins above their name tags.

For more information, contact your local managed care organization (MCO) or check out the following resources:

 

More safety resources

Check out ASNC’s online Staying Safe section, which includes tips, a printable Personal Information Record to share ahead of time with first responders about your loved one, an ID card, and links to safety products. ASNC also offers a free, online webinar titled “Staying Two Steps Ahead: Safety Considerations for Caregivers.”

 

Teresa Mebane, Autism Resource Specialist, can be reached at tmebane@autismsociety-nc.org or 910-332-0261.

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