Autism Society of Indiana Provides Communication Boards for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday that it has received new image communication boards from the Autism Society of Indiana.

The purpose of the charts is to help first responders communicate with someone who may be non-verbal, have limited English skills, be autistic, or have other disabilities or mental health issues.

In a press release, Chief Deputy Troy Hershberger said “he thinks the communication boards will really make a difference to officers and their interactions with individuals in our community.”

With help from the Autism Society of America, the Autism Society of Indiana hopes to provide a communication board that can be placed in the vehicles of all first responders and state law enforcement.

Planks aren’t new to northeast Indiana.

In July, WANE 15 reported that they had been provided to the Auburn Police Department.

The idea to add the guidance for Auburn officers came after one of their own, Officer Kyle Woods, was looking for ways to help his son who had been diagnosed with autism.

“They’re almost like a pictograph,” Woods said. “They show pictures of, for example, an ambulance, so you can tell you’re calling an ambulance. Or they show a picture of the knee so someone can tell their knee hurts. We can tell them show that we are going to the police station or that we are going in a police car.

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