Father and son develop program for first responders to learn how to help people on the autism spectrum
Published on September 21, 2018 in CityWide Stories.
f you were inside a burning building, what would you do? How would the piercing noise of a smoke alarm make you feel? Would you run out of the building, or would you hide inside? Where would you go? A bathtub? A bed? A closet? If you are a person on the autism spectrum, it’s likely that your instincts and actions would be different from those of a neurotypical person.
Former Willow Grove fire chief Brian Focht knew this because his son, Daniel Focht, was diagnosed with autism at age three—but Brian also realized that many emergency responders, like police, firefighters, or EMTs, might not know how to recognize and effectively respond to a person on the spectrum. So the chief developed Autism and Emergency Services: What You Need To Know, a mobile training program to make sure first responders are equipped to help everyone. Read more.