News Article Details

Autism risk & safety management training nears

Rushville Republican - 10/20/2017

Autism is defined as a neurodevelopmental disorder which, according to 2010 statistics, was found to affect one to two individuals in every 1,000 births or roughly 25 million individuals worldwide.

As a result, autism is the fastest growing developmental disability and has become synonymous with individuals exhibiting a variety of neurological disorders. In recent years, autistic behaviors have been defined under a larger umbrella as Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The number of individuals born with ASD has posed a challenge for emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, those in the teaching field and others when they are called to assist with those individuals. Some of the stereo-typed behaviors associated with ASD (but not limited to are): hand flapping, body rocking (stemming), diminished communication verbal and non-verbal skills and anti-social skills.

As a result to better inform and offer insight in to easing the stressful situations of working with those afflicted with ASD, the ARC of Rush County, the Knights of Columbus and the Alex Workman Memorial Fund through a grant through the Rush County Community Foundation will offer a two-day Autism Risk & Safety Management Training.

The effort will be broken down into four sessions held over two days, Nov. 8 and 9, at the Knights of Columbus, 227 East Third Street. This sessions will be held 9 a.m. to noon and 5:30 to 8 p.m., Nov. 8 and 9 a.m. to noon and 5 to 8 p.m.Nov. 9. The Nov. 8 evening session will be specifically tailored to family and community members.

The featured speaker will be Dennis Debbaudt, a leading global voice on autism training.

According to organizers for the event, this is a great opportunity for all law enforcement agencies, first responders, educators, parents and community leaders to gain insight, information and techniques when handling situations that arise with those afflicted with ASD. Those that complete the training will also receive a certificate for their attendance.

Debbaudt is making his second visit locally, having first offered the training in 2005.

A number of local youth and others and their families are directly affected by individuals with ASD on a daily basis. The Alex Workman Memorial Fund was established in 2009 by his family following the death of then 8-year-old Alex Workman as a result of a snowmobile accident. At the time of his death, Workman was a student at Mays Elementary School and was a special boy living with autism.

The public and all emergency responders are invited and encouraged to attend the training. Additional information regarding the event can be obtained by contacting Jan Hornaday at (765) 932-2195 or Lisa Wagoner at (765) 663-2444.

Additional information regarding Debbaudt can be obtained online at hhtp://

Contact: or (765) 932 - 2222 x106.


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