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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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The Law Social Story, Parts 1-4

Overview

These social stories were created to describe the various aspects of the law and justice system to individuals with autism.

Part 1: What is the law?

A smiling boy holding a gavel stands in front of a courtroom.

Laws are rules I have to follow.

A smiling boy stands to the right of a symbol of a person wearing a seat belt with the words

Many of these laws are in place to keep me safe.

A police officer stands holding the arm of a handcuffed boy.

Police Officers make sure I follow the laws and keep me safe.

A man wearing a black outfit and hat stands in front of a safe.

Sometimes laws are not followed on purpose.

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

Sometimes laws are not followed by mistake.

A boy with handcuffs wearing a striped shirt stands behind a desk to the left of a police officer.

This is called breaking the law.

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Part 2: Breaking the law

A man wearing a black outfit and hat stands in front of a safe.

If I break the law, on purpose or by accident, it is a police officer's job to make sure that I do not break the law again.

A boy with handcuffs wearing a striped shirt is shown behind bars in the center of the image.

If I break the law, by accident or on purpose, a police officer may arrest me.

A police officer holds a paper with lines on it out toward a boy.

The police officer will read me rules about what I can say or do. One thing I should NEVER do is touch a police officer or his equipment.

A man who is a police officer says,

The police officer may use language you don't understand.

A boy with a finger on his lips is shown in the center of the image.

If I don't understand the rules it is okay to not say anything or ask questions.

A smartphone is shown in the center of the image.

I can ask to call someone I trust.

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Page 1 of 6

Part 3: Getting arrested & transport

A boy with handcuffs is shown in the center of the image.

The laws say the police officer may put handcuffs on me. The handcuffs will feel cold and hard.

A police officer stands holding the arm of a handcuffed boy.

An officer may search my body to make sure I don't have anything on me that could be harmful.

A police officer holding out a key stands to the left of a boy in handcuffs.

The police officer has a key to take the handcuffs off me. The police officer may remove the handcuffs once the situation is safe.

The lights on the top of a police car are shown with lines to represent sounds.

The police officer may put me in his police car to take me to the police station.

The lights on the top of a police car are shown.

The police car has lights that are bright and a siren that is loud. Police cars are also meant to keep me, the police and the community safe.

A boy and police officer stand together to the left of a police car with a police station in the background.

Once we get to the police station, the officer will let me out of the police car.

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Part 4: In the police station

A boy stands in front of a bright yellow background with a speaker and sound lines above his head.

The police station may be loud and bright.

A boy stands in a white empty room next to a volume symbol shown inside a red circle with a diagonal line through it.

I can ask for a quiet space.

A man who is a police officer standing in the center of the image says,

The police officer will want to ask me questions like my name, where I live, who I live with and why I did not follow the law.

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 woman carrying a briefcase walks toward a man and a boy.

I don't have to answer the police officer until my parents or an attorney is present.

A police officer holds a paper with lines on it out toward a woman.

An attorney is someone who understands the law and can help me and my family in court.

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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.