Emergency Responders

Autism Training for Emergency Responders

1 in 39…
      boys in GA have autism
7 times…
      more likely to interact with first responders
      autistic people wander
      cannot communicate
      die from drowning

Emergency Responders – are you prepared to encounter autism?

What Do You Do When…

  • A person with autism creates a public disturbance?
  • Would you think it’s drugs? A mental illness? Non-compliance?
  • You attempt to check for and treat injuries and your patient becomes agitated by any physical contact?
  • There is a child hidden in a house on fire, unaware that there is danger?
  • You can’t communicate with your nonverbal victim?
  • Your normal protocol sets off behaviors that you don’t understand?
  • When someone doesn’t “look disabled”?

The training that is provided through Spirit of Autism is outstanding. Officers learn how to use the training to understand and deal appropriately with adults and children with autism. We have already put the training to the test with a missing child with autism.  We were able to effectively handle the child and keep the situation from escalating until we found the parent of the child.  I highly recommend the training to anyone that may come into contact with autistic children or adults.

- Ray, Public Safety Captain

CUSTOMIZED Autism Safety Training Provided For:


Police Departments • Fire Rescue Departments • EMS • Hospital Security • Campus SecurityMall Security • C.E.R.T. GroupsFire Corps • First Responders • Red Cross • Emergency Room Staff


CLICK HERE to Request a Customized Autism Safety Training Session



No visible signs of a disorder + a mix of unexplained behaviors = A PUBLIC SAFETY NIGHTMARE

What this training will do for you:

  • Increase your understanding of autism
  • Decrease liability / provide risk management
  • Promote safer interactions for everyone involved
  • Good PR for your agency :)

“I was so impressed with her presentation and knowledge of the subject matter, that I have now included her material as a separate module in the Basic CERT classes we teach to the citizens of the county. Debi teaches actions that keep the rescuer and the victim safe.
Robert Swanson
DeKalb Emergency Management Agency

I can’t thank you enough for your training. I learned quite a bit in the mere two hours. Here lately, I’ve noticed that several of my cases involve a person with Autism so I was excited when the training was offered. I think yours and Austin’s personal experiences are so important for people to hear. Y’all made it personal.
SVU Detective

This Autism Safety Training is the ONLY COURSE that teaches emergency responders:

  • WHAT they may encounter on a scene

  • WHY the behavior is occurring

  • HOW to interact and respond in the safest way possible for all parties


DT FlyerAs an emergency responder,  Debi knows that your safety and the safety of your crew is the NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. As the mother of two teens with autism, she understands the unique behaviors and needs of autistic individuals.
Austin FlyerAs an autistic adult, Austin brings a wealth of knowledge to first responders. He is a certified First Responder, Skywarn Storm Spotter, Ham Radio operator, and Community Emergency Response Team Instructor.

What you’ll learn in this training:

  • How to Instantly Recognize Different Degrees of Autistic Behaviors
  • When to Step in and Interrupt a Behavior
  • Critical Tools That Will Help You Communicate
  • What Physical Issues Cause Meltdowns and Non-Compliance (it’s not what you think!)
  • What You Should NEVER Do in a Power Struggle
  • Unusual Search and Rescue Tips That Could Mean Life or Death
  • What to Avoid During Medical Triage
  • The Best Restraining Method and When it’s Necessary
  • Techniques to Immediately Diffuse Out of Control Behaviors

…and Much More

The Autism Awareness and Action Training furnished by Debi Taylor with Spirit of Autism was well received by our Security Officers and provided very good and relevant information to assist our officers when encountering those individuals with Autism.  I feel confident that this training will assist our officers by providing an additional very useful tool for them to use as they work with the public.”
Gary L. Thomas, Tanner Health System



“As a person with Autism and a first responder and CERT instructor, I believe it is crucial that this training Debi provides be required by all emergency responders and professionals that interact with the public.”
Austin Harris
Captain – Dekalb County Fire Rescue Reserve
Dekalb County Community Emergency Response Team – Instructor
Assistant Emergency Coordinator – Dekalb County Amateur Radio Emergency Service



Recently I was providing first aid at a community event and a woman came to me and advised that her son was missing. Her son has Asperger’s Syndrome and had wandered off from where he was told to stand. As a public safety professional the information that you provide is great for us to know. Thank you so much.
Just to let you know, the child was found safe.
Beth Burgess, Emergency Management Administrator
Athens-Clarke County, GA

“I was so impressed with the class that I think both the PD and anyone who is in attractions and retail operations, as well as our entire safety team should have to go through that.”
Pamela Skaff, DeKalb County CERT, DeKalb County Fire Rescue Reserve, DeKalb County Volunteer in Police Service

CLICK HERE to Request a Customized Autism Safety Training Session



“Now that I am an EMT, I soaked even more of your information in because we didn’t cover it in class. I do a lot of Search and Rescues and Lost Child missions with the Guard and all of your info kept running through my mind on how it might be helpful in certain situations I encounter. Keep up the good work!” -A.R.


  • Sandy Springs Fire Rescue
  • Sandy Springs Police Department
  • DeKalb County Police Department – New Recruits
  • DeKalb County Fire Corps – Fire Rescue Reserve
  • Stone Mountain Police Department
  • Carrollton Police Department
  • Athens-Clarke County Fire Rescue
  • Athens-Clarke County Police Department
  • Athens-Clarke County EMA
  • UGA Police Department
  • Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office
  • Oconee County Fire Rescue/EMA
  • DeKalb Emergency Management Agency – CERT
  • DeKalb County School District – Security
  • Tanner Health System – Security
  • 8th District Police Chiefs
  • Emory University – CERT Class
  • Columbus State University 3rd District Chiefs Meeting – Police Chiefs and Uniform Division

Debi Taylor is a proud member of:

220px-Star_of_life2 logo1-remake clear2 cert-logo vip_5 DEMA-Seal-Large


“Hello Debi- I just returned from a busy week of workshops for nurses and daycare providers. Nurses particularly enjoyed learning from a parent of a child with autism about how to handle children during a crisis or illness.”

~Louise (SigningFamilies.com)

CLICK HERE to Request a Customized Autism Safety Training Session



Purchase Autism and Sign Language Mini-Charts

Download Free Autism Resource Sheets