ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball joined Police Chief Gregory Der today to receive a donation of 250 sensory kits from the Hussman Institute for Autism. The kits will assist officers and mobile crisis teams in situations involving people with autism or related disabilities. They were donated in recognition of Autism Acceptance Month. Photos of the donations can be found here

Howard County is home to the safest city in America and we want residents and visitors of all ages and abilities in Howard County to be safe and feel safe – and as World Autism Acceptance month comes to an end, this donation could not be timelier. These sensory kits are an excellent example of innovative, compassionate ways to ensure Howard County is welcoming to all.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

In emergency situations, children and adults with autism may experience challenges with communication, social interactions, and sensory regulation. The kits include items that will be helpful to officers, including tips on how to assist a person with autism, communication boards and other items that may be comforting to the person with autism. In addition to noise-cancelling headphones and sunglasses, each kit includes fidget gadgets such as a rainbow bubble POP, liquid motion timer, stress relief ball and plush toy. 
“Our officers routinely respond to calls involving people with autism or related disabilities,” said Police Chief Der. “These kits can help us reduce stress and confusion in what may be an already upsetting or chaotic incident.” 

In emergency situations, the ability to understand and support differences can be critical. Offering reassurance, communication supports, sensory accommodations, and the patience to complete routines or deescalate can be enormously helpful.

John Hussman
Executive Director, Hussman Institute for Autism

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