Firefighters and police in Sandy Springs are undergoing training on how to communicate with people on the autism spectrum, the city says. A total of 57 took part in the first class, which was held Sept. 17, the city said in a press release Sept. 22.

“Recognizing that those on the autism spectrum are a growing part of our interactions in public safety, it is important that we insure that our police and fire personnel have the necessary training to help them communicate with these members of the community,” Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Medical Services Officer Patrick Flaherty, who organizing the training, said in the release.


Debi Taylor with the Spirit of Autism developed the curriculum. It introduces and trains participants on effective communication during an emergency when helping people with sensory processing issues.  The two-hour presentation familiarizes public safety officers and first responders on how to recognize an individual with autism and how to intervene effectively.

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.