Thursday, June 8, 2023 from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM EDT
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Mental Health America of NKY & SWOH 
11238 Cornell Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45242

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Beth Roach 
Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky & SW Ohio 

CIT Refresher: Responding to Calls involving Autism and Intellectual Disabilities 

This class will provide attendees a better understanding of disabilities and provide de-escalation tips for responding to situations where an individual might have an intellectual or developmental disability.

Qualifies for 4 hours of CPTs

Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance and a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.

Presented by: T. Dean Swartz*, Academy for Professional Development


This class offers skills & techniques to officers & other first responders who answer calls involving people who have disabilities. Attendees will look closely at the unique challenges that responders & people who have developmental disabilities, including autism, may face during a call. 


 Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and Autism Foundational Skills: This portion of the class will discuss 4 of the most common disabilities (Intellectual disability, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism) and how they affect a person’s communication, sensory and social skills.  Attendees will leave with a better understanding of disabilities as well as tips for responding to situations where an individual may have an IDD.

The Brain, Stress and Safety: Attendees will learn about the brain, how it processes information it is receiving, as well as what happens in the brain of a person when they “flip their lid.” People under stress behave in ways that increase their sense of safety and control; however, these behaviors may be unsafe. Understanding what is happening in the brain of this person, and responding in a manner that promotes de-escalation, is essential.  In this class we will spend time on the importance of providing this person with a “felt sense” of safety.  Attendees will gain an understanding of how the brain processes information and how stress and safety play a role in our responses, and tips how to assist a person in having that “felt sense” of safety.

Crisis and the De-escalation Toolbox: This portion of the class will explore the ‘crisis cycle’ and look at anger: what anger actually is and methods to address it. Attendees will spend time exploring tools for de-escalation including “Tactical Empathy,” and discuss how to recognize when to apply these tools based on where the person is in the crisis cycle. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the mechanics of anger, the cycle that crisis follows, and the role communication plays, as well as tools for the toolbox to address crisis situations.

Guidelines for Engagement: “Respond Don’t React.” The class will look at engagement from the first point of contact when arriving on scene through the questioning/interviewing process, including gathering information when crimes may have been committed by or against a person with disabilities. Discussion will also center on considerations when there is a need to restrain a person with an intellectual or other developmental disability (IDD).  Attendees will leave with tools for de-escalating and engaging individuals with IDD.

*About the presenter: T. Dean Swartz is a veteran of 38 years in the human services field.  His training approach is grounded in the mantra of "dignity and respect for all”.  Dean has presented on the local, state, and national levels and has a comprehensive list of topics that he is passionate about, such as trauma-informed and trauma-responsive care, vicarious trauma, organizational trauma, self-care, developmental disabilities, mental illness, co-occurring illnesses, caregiving, community inclusion, person-centered planning, behavior support, and crisis de-escalation and intervention.  He has worked with and trained First Responders for the past four years and has recently developed an advanced CIT class for Law Enforcement Officers.  Dean has a M.Ed. and is a certified trauma specialist (TRCC) and certified crisis and de-escalation trainer (CPI).  He is a contracted consultant and trainer for the Academy for Professional Development. Dean has a family of four challenging and amazing children and his wonderful wife, Lynn.