“People with autism or other special needs may repeat words, avoid eye contact and run from authorities.”
by Michele C. Hollow
“A man in his mid-20s regularly roams the streets of my small town in the middle of the night. He looks angry and doesn’t communicate clearly.
“Not everyone living in the area knows him. But the police do.
“‘His father reached out to us,’ said Sgt. Adrian Acevedo of the South Orange, N.J., police department, ‘to tell us his son is blowing off steam, has special needs, and won’t make eye contact or listen to us. If we didn’t have this information, we could mistakenly take him for a burglar.’
“All of South Orange’s police officers are aware of this man’s disability. His name, his parent’s phone numbers, and brief details about his special needs are on file at the South Orange Police Office.”