WHAT IS CODE JOSHUA?
CODE JOSHUA is a call for emergency assistance, uniquely created for individuals and families living with autism. Its purpose is to sensitize first responders to recognize, respond to, and safely approach individuals on the autism spectrum and other persons with intellectual developmental disabilities (IDD). It immediately alerts police officers, firefighters, health care workers, and other personnel to respectfully approach autistic citizens in a crisis with sensitivity and caution.
Special Autism Training For Union City Police
UNION CITY, CA — The Union City Police Department has completed a one week training session on behaviors related to autism, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Code Joshua training was held by Joshua’s Gift, a Fremont-based organization that provided officers with knowledge, strategies, and tools to effectively respond to individuals living with autism and IDD.
“We have a much better understanding of the unique challenges they face in social interaction, communication, and behaviors,” the police department said in a social media post. “We are proud to say that our team has taken important steps toward creating a supportive environment for the neurodiverse community. The skills we learned during this training will undoubtedly help us be more compassionate, patient, and effective in our work.”
Our Code Joshua Training Program teaches police officers how to use simple instructions when called to the scene of an individual on the autism spectrum. We train officers how to approach with empathy and patience, how to preserve the rights of individuals on the autism spectrum, how to de-escalate the situation by meeting the individuals’ sensory and communication needs, and how to respond without force.
Here at Joshua’s Gift, we want to stress the emphasis on firefighters and the specific protocols they would need to incorporate into their training program to ensure the safety of those diagnosed with autism. Additional training for firefighters entering the field is provided so they know what to expect when assisting someone diagnosed with autism. During an emergency, firefighters are prepared to assess and respond to possible life-threatening situations quickly. Most individuals on the autism spectrum will commonly freeze up, requiring additional firefighters to transport them to safety efficiently. When responding to a Code Joshua emergency call, firefighters must have the necessary information to arrive fully prepared.
Paramedics & EMTs
Through Code Joshua, we provide paramedics with a specific profile of the individual to be aware of their medical needs to provide proper assistance. The information they receive from a Code Joshua Alert goes directly to EMTs for them to arrive at the scene fully equipped. We train them to recognize the varying behaviors of individuals on the autism spectrum so their knowledge and understanding of sensory triggers can help them provide immediate assistance.