SPOKANE, Wash.—A local organization helps train law enforcement on how to interact with citizens who have autism.
ISAAC Foundation founder and executive director, Holly Bane Lytle said she started the ISAAC Foundation for a very personal reason.
“I started the ISAAC Foundation ten years ago because my oldest child Isaac was diagnosed with autism at age two. He passed away unexpectedly in 2007,” Lytle said.
Lytle expressed that having a child with autism was hard and she was frustrated after her son passed away.
“Our kids tend to be louder. They tend to be a little heavy handed with things because they experience their environment differently, and that has a lot of challenges,” Lytle said.
Lytle said those challenges can affect how people who have autism interact with law enforcement.
The premise of the ISAAC Foundation’s training is to teach law enforcement and first responders to understand what is going on in the mind and body of a person with autism, according to Lytle.
“We launched the training and it had great success and had great ah-ha experiences,” Lytle said.
Lytle said they took it one step further by organizing special needs visits to the station.
That way people could practice the communication and knowledge the training taught them, according to Lytle.
“It gives them hands on experiences in a fun, non-stressful environment to what these different abilities are,” said Lytle.
Lytle said she gives a lot of credit to both the Spokane Dire Department and the Spokane Police Department for seeking her out and wanting the training so they could better serve their community.