I want to take a moment of your time to tell you about something wonderful that the Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders at New Haven's Southern Connecticut State University is doing at the end of this month.

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On April 30, 2022 from 8 AM to Noon, Officers from the SCSU PD will set up in the SCSU School of Building and Parking Lot 12 on campus to conduct routine traffic stops. This is being done in order to allow drivers with autism to experience what it's like to go through this routine event in a controlled setting.

These practice traffic stops will allow the participants to familiarize themselves with all of the typical steps of a routine pull-over, and better prepare them in the event that this situation occurs in their every day.

The instructors will also familiarize participants with the utilization of the Blue Envelope with law enforcement officers. If you're unfamiliar with Blue Envelope, what it's purpose is to have the driver place their driver's license, registration, and insurance into, which they hand to an officer, and on the Blue Envelope there are hints and suggestions for both, in order to better understand each other, and also alert the officer that the driver has autism. Blue Envelopes will be available for participants at the event on April 30.

According to the CDC, there has been a 178% increase in ASD nationally since 2000. Getting pulled over by a law enforcement officer can make anybody nervous or anxious and for those with ASD, it can have an even greater impact. I love this idea, and I applaud the work that the that the members of SCSU's ASD Center and PD are doing in order to make our crazy world a bit safer for all of us.

If you'd like to participate in the event at SCSU on April 30, 2022, you must pre-register by sending an e-mail to: ASD-Center@southernct.edu. In the subject line, put "Traffic Stop Practice" and include your name, number, and e-mail address in the e-mail.

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