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Our Initiatives & Current Projects 

Psychotherapy

Adult Diversion Program

We are actively working on contacting legislators, law enforcement, courts, public defenders and attorney's throughout Idaho to gain support for our Adult Diversion Program. This program is currently being designed by BSU's Masters Public Health program in hopes to make it a reality. 

Why is this important? Currently - Idaho does not recognize any medical diagnosis when prosecuting individuals. This means if an individual is an adult physically, but cognitively function as a minor - they will be charged, convicted and incarcerated as an adult. This ultimately leads to these individuals being victims and potentially killed due to being extremely vulnerable. 

Our Adult Diversion Program will allow these individuals to have therapies appropriate for them, as well as corrective action plans that will be beneficial to not only them, but to the public as well. 

Mandated Law Enforcement Training

We are actively working on making Autism and Developmental Disability training mandated for all Law Enforcement - prior to getting a badge and entering into public service. This is vital as many Autistic individuals are uncomfortable with Law Enforcement due to their intimidating presence - which can lead to individuals running, stimming (repetitive movements), avoiding eye contact, not communicating (whether non-verbal or unable). This unfortunately leads to unfavorable interactions with law enforcement, potentially injury or death of the law enforcement personnel or the Autistic individual.

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Recognition of Developmental Disabilities in Legal proceedings 

Currently Idaho does not recognize ANY medical diagnosis when prosecuting an individual. Regardless of it being a factor in the case, Idaho law does not allow this information to be used in the defense of a crime. 

This means - if an individual with a developmental disability commits a crime, they will be prosecuted and incarcerated as a neurotypical individual would. 

An example of this is the insanity plea - Idaho does not recognize the insanity plea, so if the individuals pleads mentally unwell - Idaho will send that individual to a mental institution until they are deemed "well" and then they will be tried for their pending charges. While this may be appropriate for certain individuals, this is not appropriate for individuals who have well documented, physician diagnosed disabilities that have caused numerous difficulties throughout someone's life. Many individuals with a developmental disability do not understand legal age - that 18 is the magic number to not engage in certain activities or they will be charged as an adult, especially when they relate better to younger individuals who are cognitively the same age. 

Safety on the Spectrum

Autism Society of Idaho has been actively training law enforcement and first responders about Autism and everything that comes with it. Whether it's the wandering away, attraction to waterways, attraction to railways or inability to process dangerous situations. We are working on making sure these agencies have the tools to better assist them interact with ASD individuals and their families and to be able to provide better lines of communication as well as best practices while engaging with an Autistic individual. De-escalation techniques and recognition of sensory overload. 

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