Police and fire rescue officers in Sandy Springs are learning how to communicate with people with autism spectrum disorder.
More than half of officers have participated in two-hour training session with Spirit of Autism so far.
"When there's an emergency, communication is critical," Sandy Springs communications director Sharon Kraun said. "If there's a fire, for example, and you've got someone coming out of a building and if it's someone that has special needs, being able to recognize that and then being able to communicate with them, it helps provide that communication and service a whole lot faster."
According to a 2010 CDC study, about 1 in 64 children in metro Atlanta were identified with autism spectrum disorder.
Kraun says the goal is to train all 230 police, fire and rescue officers in Sandy Springs. Spirit of Autism has also trained officers with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office, DeKalb County Fire Corps and Stone Mountain Police Department.