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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Safety Guide

ASERT has put together some resources for those with autism and those who care for people with autism relating to the current Coronavirus outbreak.

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Pat Down Searches - What to Expect Social Story

Overview

These social stories were created to describe the process of pat down searches and what to expect for individuals with autism.

A man who is a police officer stands in the center of the image and yells,

If I am stopped by the police, a police officer may do a pat down search.

A police officer touches the back of a boy on the outside of his clothing.

A pat down search is a search of a person’s body and outer clothing.

A gun and knife are shown inside a red circle with a diagonal line through it.

The police officer does a pat down search to make sure I do not have anything that could be used to hurt myself or someone else (like a gun or a knife).

A boy stands in the center of the image and says,

It’s my choice if I want to tell the police officer that I have autism.

A man who is a police officer holds the arm of a boy on his right and says,

I should follow all instructions that the police officer gives me.

A boy is shown standing with his hands hanging by his sides.

I should keep my hands out of my pockets so the police officer can see my hands at all times.

A boy is shown from behind facing a wall with his arms raised and legs spread apart.

The police officer may ask me to put my hands on a wall and to spread my legs apart.

A police officer touches the waistband area of a boy who has his arms raised and legs spread apart.

The police officer will use their hands to feel around the waistband of my pants.

A police officer touches the outside of a boy's clothing on his arms.

The police officer will use their hands along my arms on the outside of my clothing.

A police officer touches the outside of a boy's clothing on his legs.

The police officer will use their hands along my legs on the outside of my clothing.

A police officer removes an object from a boy's pocket.

The police officer will use their hands to check my pockets. They will take away anything from my pocket or my person that is illegal or could be used to hurt someone or hurt myself.

A smiling police officer says to a boy on his right,

After the pat down search, the police officer will tell me if I can I go home or if I am being charged with a crime.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.