UTAH

Utah Highway Patrol receives tools for interactions with people with autism

Oct 5, 2022, 12:52 PM
Rows of autism sensory packets are pictured at the Utah Highway Patrol office on Oct. 5, 2022 in Mu...
Rows of autism sensory packets are pictured at the Utah Highway Patrol office on Oct. 5, 2022 in Murray, Utah. (Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)
(Adam Small/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Autism Council of Utah gave the Utah Highway Patrol hundreds of bags this morning, aimed at improving troopers’ interactions with people with autism.

The Autism Council of Utah, along with Doug Smith Subaru, gave the UHP 600 autism sensory bags.

Each bag has tools that can help anyone the UHP interacts with that has autism.

Cheryl Smith, a co-founder of the Autism Council of Utah, said people with autism can have pretty strong sensory issues. This means that even basic things like flashing lights could cause someone to exhibit concerning behavior to troopers.

UHP Lt. Terry Buck said the bags can help calm anyone who may have a strong sensory response during interactions.

“There’s headphones in there, there’s a cue card to be able to communicate [for]  those who may not be able to communicate as effectively verbally. There’s fidget spinners and things like that in there for individuals that need to move around.”

The UHP said the bags will help troopers de-escalate potential situations that could be stressful for everyone involved.

Related: Tooele School District launches program to help students experiencing homelessness

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