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FoI - AFP have no ongoing training in ASD

freedom of information act 1982 written on image of parchment scroll

In a recent letter, the ACT Minister for police told SOfASD that ACT "police officers ... undertake ongoing training in mental health conditions, including the treatment of patients with autism spectrum disorder". SOfASD sought evidence of this "ongoing training" from the AFP.

The response from the AFP (see below) shows there is no such training for police in how best to interact with autistic people.

See also FoI response - ACT Ambulance

FoI response - ACT Ambulance

Freedom of Information stamp

SOfASD received the material below relating to training of ACT ambulance officers in relation to autistic patients.

It includes:

  • a Powerpoint presentation from 2010
  • video from 2016 of a 2 hour comprehensive presentation about ASD to ambulance officers
  • several letters ... mostly FoI administration

This material was provided as a result of a Freedom of Information request to the ACT government following on from correspondence with the ACT Minister, see http://sofasd.org.au/d7/node/227

ACT police Minister - second response

Minister Gentleman with Chief Minister Barr

The ACT Police Minister responded 12/8/2019
(see target="_blank">link below)
to a previous email 22/7/2019.

The Minister's response is disappointing. It claims "police officers, ambulance paramedics,
and healthcare workers undertake ongoing training in mental health conditions, including the treatment of patients with
autism spectrum disorder". We have severe doubts that this is true, especially in relation to police,
so we requested evidence of this ongoing training under the provisions of the Cwth Freedom of Information Act 1982,
and the ACT Freedom of Information Act 2016 in the case of ambulance paramedics.

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Ronnie – or Nazzareno as he was called back then – had a tough time growing up in the late 1950s.

In the working-class suburbs of Melbourne, when having an Italian heritage was deemed to be ‘reprehensible’, Ronnie became an extreme introvert and struggled with depression and OCD, but wasn’t diagnosed then.

He also obsessed over things such as cricket statistics, and admits he had difficulty mixing with other people.

It was only later that he realised he presented on the autism spectrum.

ACT Police Minister disappointing response

Dear Mr Gentleman MLA

Your response below is disappointing. Were it appropriate to call 000, I would have.

Part of the problem was due to calls to 000 and the predictable but inappropriate response. You claim that the "operational matters" in this case "are best judged by the experts in each of the Agencies". And my letter clearly stated that you so-called "expert" hung up rather than respond appropriately and receive relevant information. Clearly, your advice was not helpful.

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ACT Minister for education

Sherryn Groch, Kirsten Lawson

A nine-year-old boy who feels "all hope is lost" after being punched, kicked and strangled in the schoolyard remains in the same class as the child responsible.

A family was forced to send their daughter interstate to escape bullying and violence at school, after footage of her assault spread across social media last year.

These are some of the harrowing stories parents have shared with an ACT inquiry into school violence

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Early last year life became very tough for Nikita Fulton of Flynn. Recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Nikita was traumatised by having to change schools in Week 3 of the first term of Year 8 due to difficulties with affording school fees. She had no school friends and was stressed, unhappy and struggling at school.

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