Skip to Content

200 sensory kits donated to help police when they respond to crisis calls

<i>WMAR</i><br/>The institute is donating 200 kits to the agency
The institute is donating 200 kits to the agency

By Jeff Hager

Click here for updates on this story

    PASADENA, Maryland (WMAR) — No, it’s not your standard-issue law enforcement tools of the trade, but the Hussman Institute for Autism wants officers to be better equipped to calm people with autism who are in crisis during encounters with police.

“It’s really having an individual response to that person as an individual and asking what they need and seeing what they need that’s going to be comforting to them,” said Lt. Steve Thomas of the Anne Arundel County Police Crisis Intervention Team.

On its face, what may seem like simple child’s backpacks, are really sensory kits and each of these items inside them is designed to help police better interact with people on the spectrum.

“We have headphones for those that experience sensory overload in hearing,” said Institute Outreach Director Beth Benevides, as she displayed the items for officer.

Sunglasses for those agitated by bright light, communication boards for those who face challenges in expressing themselves and a stuffed animal to simply comfort them.

The institute is donating 200 kits to the agency, and as the mother of an autistic child, Benevides knows what’s at stake.

“Certainly, for my son who does have a need to complete certain routines, if you were to ask him, on a dime, to change what he’s doing or walk a certain way or leave a building, that could be difficult for him if he doesn’t understand why,” said Benevides.

And now the means to reach that understanding will just be a patrol car away.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content