Autism Spectrum Disorder Training for Public Safety POST 2002

  • Format: online
This for-credit course is to help members of public safety recognize and respond appropriately to persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the fastest growing developmental disability in America. Designed in three online, self-paced modules, this course focuses on identifying persons with ASD, understanding their risks and providing aid to them more effectively. These topics are addressed through videos, case studies and interactive questions. This course was developed in collaboration with Missouri Department of Mental Health.

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About this Course

Through the generous support of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, the Office of Autism Services partnered with Dennis Debbaudt, an expert in the field of autism and law enforcement and first response, and the University of Missouri Extension, MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute to produce electronic training on public safety considerations when interacting with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Three goals were at the forefront of this effort:

  • To provide credible information to first responders who might encounter individuals with autism spectrum disorder, minimizing risk to responders and maximizing positive outcomes of such encounters,
  • To meet continuing education requirements of Missouri Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) and Emergency Medical Services with immediate results, and
  • To incentivize participation in the training by offering it to qualified users at no cost for a period of three years.

The need for autism-specific training for public safety personnel is evidenced both nationally and locally. Almost daily, Amber alerts are issued for children with autism who have wandered from their homes. And, much too frequently, the search results in tragedy.Training for public safety personnel occurs throughout Missouri every year, but this training represents a systemic effort to engage as many personnel as possible in the comfort of their own home or office at a time of their choosing. It also addresses the challenges of staff turnover and shift work that might preclude attendance at face-to-face presentations that occur during regular business hours.

This course is designed to help police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical service providers recognize and respond appropriately to persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This course has been developed in conjunction with Missouri Department of Mental Health.

This course is approved for two (2) hours of continuing education through Missouri Bureau of EMS in the Division/Module of Special Considerations.

Additionally, this course is approved to offer Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Continuing Law Enforcement Education credit for two (2) Interpersonal Perspective hours on handling persons with mental health and cognitive impairment issues. Students wishing to receive this credit must complete the POST enrollment form and complete the course in no less than 100 minutes.

NOTE: Students are given two attempts to pass each of the three video modules with a minimum of 70%. If you are unsuccessful on both attempts, please do not re-enroll in the course. Contact the Fire and Rescue Training Institute at [email protected] for extra attempts to pass a module or extend your 30-day enrollment period. We will work with you to provide extended opportunities to complete the class.


 Instructor Information

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What to Expect in this Course

Before you can access the 3 lessons you need to fill out the initial information survey to the fullest. If you fill it out incorrectly, you may not receive the proper credit for this class.

This Course contains 3 Lessons:

  • Recognizing Autism Spectrum Disorder

    • This lesson contains 6 videos embedded into the quiz with a total of 14 questions
  • Safety Risks for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    • This lesson contains 7 videos embedded into the quiz with a total of 10 questions
  • Basic Strategies for Effectively Interacting with Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    • This lesson contains 9 videos embedded into the quiz with a total of 15 questions

Each lesson quiz needs to have a passing score of 70%. You will have two attempts at the quiz to get a passing grade and an unlimited amount of time on each attempt.

After you complete the initial information quiz and pass the 3 lessons, you will take a course evaluation survey.

Once the survey is complete you can access your certificate of completion.



You may have initially accomplished enrollment within this course by finding it on the MU FRTI website.

The enrollment period for this couse is 30 days. If you need assistance with this deadline, contact your instructor Erin McGruder. You may also contact the help desk for this course.

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Extension resources