BeSAFE is an exciting new safety tool for learners with autism and similar conditions which shows what to do and say in police encounters. Check out the trailer.
The movie was shot, edited, and directed by talented filmmakers with autism from Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films. Actors in the movie are adults with autism, and police/peace officers featured are real-life parents of individuals with autism. The narrator of the film has a sibling with special needs. These people get it!
Film creator and Camino Cinema founder, Emily Iland, M.A. has an adult son with autism. For more than a decade she has been a sought-after international autism consultant, advocate, and safety expert for California state. Emily has personally taught hundreds of officers in the Los Angeles area about autism and led key initiatives to ensure the safety of all people with invisible disabilities. She travels to local communities across the nation to lead interactive safety screenings of BeSAFE the movie in English and Spanish. Invite Emily to come help the teens/adults/officers in your city learn to BeSAFE.
LESSON 1: Laws Help us BE SAFE.
Key concepts: What laws are and why we follow them.
LESSON 2: Law Enforcement Officers Help Us BE SAFE.
The primary concept of Be Safe: When the police give us directions, we follow them right away.
LESSON 3: Uniforms and Safety Tools
Key concept: Never touch the police or their safety equipment without asking permission. The answer may be no.
LESSON 4: Stay Calm If You Are Arrested
Key concept: When the police tell you to do something, just do it.
LESSON 5: Self-Disclosure
Key concept: Choose and practice a safe way to let the police know about a disability.
LESSON 6: The Right to Remain Silent
Key concept: It is particularly important for a person with a developmental or neurological disability to understand the right to remain silent and practice remaining silent, and ask for an attorney if arrested.
Bonus Lesson 7: BE SAFE in an Emergency
Key Concepts: How to provide important information to 911 operators; what to expect in a medical emergency with paramedics.
BE SAFE can be helpful for learners across the autism spectrum and individuals with related conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Intellectual Disability and other special learning needs. Parents, professionals, and emergency first responders learn about invisible disabilities and how to assist them in emergency encounters.
Turn on the news or your Facebook newsfeed and you’ll find tragic stories about people with invisible disabilities and emergency encounters. The only signs of autism are behavioral, communication skills are impacted under pressure, and an individual panics–the legal consequences can be deadly or traumatic.
Think of what is involved legally to stay safe with the police: communicating while remaining calm and still, following officer’s 1-step verbal directions (put your hands in the air), and perspective taking (understanding how police might misinterpret reaching into a pocket or glove compartment). This movie prepares teens and adults for common situations, and educates police officers too.