Police and the Intellectually Disabled

In today’s world it’s absolutely vital that those in the Law Enforcement field have a basic understanding of developmental and mental disabilities There is a diverse array of levels of developmental disabilities. Profound, severe, and moderate (considered lower functioning) are the most easily to recognize as being developmentally slow (child like in a way but in adult bodies). Mild and borderline Intellectually Disabilities (considered high functioning) is less clear. Recognizing and effectively dealing with those with developmental and mental disabilities can be a daunting and diffuclt task. The following are some general points to bear in mind for interacting with the Intellectually Disabled

10 points to remember

  • Remember they are slow to react. Give them extra time to respond.
  • Approach gently; use a calm, but firm voice as a kind parent would. 3. Scaring them will cause them to withdrawal from you. Making it harder for them to respond to your questions.
  • Approach indirectly by standing to their side, not strait on and in their face.
  • If you have to “rush” them, be ready for them to strike out automatically wildly as a small child would.
  • Remember, if they are mentally slow they are also physically slow. Chances you will not need to hurt them to overpower them.
  • Remember, they can not respond to others if the basic bodily needs are not met. See it they are hungry, thirsty or need to use the bathroom.
  • Give them a little extra time to calm down.
  • Find the person who knows them best or is responsible for them.
  • Call Regional Center