I hope you’re safe and doing well. Over the past three decades, I’ve focused my professional efforts on developing training programs that enhance safety and lower risk for people who have autism and the law enforcement and public safety professionals they may interact with. I have a very personal reason for doing so: my son, Brad, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Back in the mid 90s, I teamed up with my friend, veteran news and documentary videographer-editor Dave Legacy to contribute to an Autism Society Excellence in Media Award winning project on autism and law enforcement interactions. A few years later Dave and I formalized our partnership as an LLC, and released our first Debbaudt Legacy Productions, LLC title, Autism & Law Enforcement: Roll Call Briefing video.
I’m celebrating 2022, my 27th year training experience, by reporting on autism risk management issues at law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice training conferences and training events. I’ll be forever grateful and honored to have been invited to present at each session and hope to do more into the future. I’ve enjoyed having great conversations with many of you. I’ve learned that you found the site through searching for subject matter for training session development. You’ve come across my name and the website through links from other websites, a book or report citation, a referral from a colleague or friend, or through Google or other search engines. However it happened, I’m happy that you found your way here
Over the past year, I’ve presented live training and train-the-trainer sessions in Brownsville, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina, San Francisco Bay Area, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and New York and dozens of virtual conference and train-the-trainer sessions. I was also part of a UK/US research team’s chapter, Autism and Operational Policing, in Yale University’s Dr. Fred Volkmar’s (et al) new book Handbook of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Law published by Springer in November 2021 and provided subject matter and DLP video support to FDLE’s new Online Autism Training for 911 telecommunicators. Drop me an email for further information about the book and online 911 training.
DLP has licensed our audiovisual products, research and reporting to federal, state, provincial, county and local governmental agencies including training consortiums, academies, police departments and individuals. Pricing is flexible and based on audience reach and license duration.
DLP instructor level training sessions can help you embed autism training into existing curriculum or create a stand alone session for your agency by your instructors. I’ve provided these sessions for law enforcement since the early 2000’s with demand on the increase the past several years. It’s the most cost effective training option DLP offers. This program gives you access to course, handout and audiovisual updates. And you get a consultant experienced in presentation software, delivery and subject matter. I’m always happy to talk with people on the spectrum, family members, educators, therapists and autism advocates who may be interested in creating or sponsoring a training program.
I’m honored to have contributed chapters to books in 2020 and 2021, the latest of over 60 reports, in print and video, that I’ve authored since 1993. Relevant information from my latest reporting and subject matter expertise contributions are reflected in my current training, conference and train-the-trainer sessions. Please take a few minutes to view an HBO mini doc below that provides focus on my mission’s origins and where we’re at now. Links to all three are below this message. You can also read about Debbaudt Legacy Production’s history, experience and mission and check out some of our video clips. Here’s how we can connect: email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 772-398-9756. I’m in the Eastern time zone. I look forward to talking with you. Let’s make the best of the time we’re given.
Please stay safe and I wish only the best to you, your family and friends!
Voices of Autism – 2020 Public Service Announcement
Our training room tested, well-researched, relevant & jargon-free autism audiovisual illustrations important to, you and your agency or department’s training mission?
The DLP library includes illustrations of individuals across the autism spectrum of age, independence and ethnicity and interviews with parents, policing and public safety professionals. Our footage is produced and directed by Dave Legacy on locations in Florida, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Illinois, Oregon and New Zealand. Editing is done at our Detroit facility.
The Debbaudt Legacy Productions library now includes ten produced releases and over 150 hours of video including the release in 2019 of four new videos and remastered work.
When new insight, research and trends become available, it’s incorporated into DLP’s curriculum package. Likewise, audiovisual updates are frequent and in the experienced editing hands of Emmy Award winning videographer/editor, Dave Legacy.
Developing training curriculum for emerging, high risk and vulnerable populations can be expensive, difficult and time consuming. When you work with DLP, you get access to affordable and memorable video that’s tested to encourage discussion through scenarios and situations that help instructors engage and inform.
Autism & Suspicious Person Calls
Suspicious person contacts involving persons with autism are predictable and fraught with risk. This scenario illustrates autism recognition, verbal and nonverbal communication, investment of on scene time, information processing, interviewing and decision making dilemmas while offering officer and citizen safety tips, communication advice and much more.
Creative editing and on screen text captures every student’s attention and spurs training room discussion. Ten minutes total run time. Suggested video edit points, instructor tips and video handout included with every digital video.
ASD, Missing Persons, Search & Rescue
Perhaps the most predictable law enforcement and public safety contact will be when less independent autistic children, adolescents and adults are reported missing.
Their limited self help skills increase the danger and urgency of search and rescue operations.
This ten-minute video tells the story of autism and elopement and the deadly risks water, traffic and other elements in the environment pose to this vulnerable population and offers search & rescue tips and advice for policing and public safety professionals. Ten minutes. Tips and advice for policing and public safety professionals handout included.
Autism & Victim – Witness Interview
This historic autism video features RCMP Corporal Walter Coles’ interview of victim-witness Ivan Chan and demonstrates a law enforcement professional’s savvy and willingness to try a different approach.
The interview was conducted in 1988, long before autism specific advice and techniques were developed for police interviewers. It is now considered an anchor learning piece for use in preparation for autism and law enforcement victim-witness interviews.
Ivan’s description of his sexual victimization is disturbing and graphic in nature. This video should only be viewed by adults and with full and prior disclosure of its content. Eleven minutes. ASD & Interview handout included.
Autism & Wandering: Escape From Campus
When Daniel made his decision to leave his middle school campus, his daring nature was on full display. So was his inability to recognize and take steps to manage deadly risks. This video highlights the danger of wandering, the role fate can play in our lives and emotional interviews with Daniel’s mom, two Good Samaritans and a police officer who stepped in to help.
Dangerous escapes by autistic individuals away from educational, health care, therapeutical and recreational campuses have resulted in death, injury and liability exposure for any agency and person charged with the care of less independent individuals with autism. Ten minutes. Safety planning handout included.
Debbaudt Legacy Productions Training Video Support
Every DLP Training Video is a fully produced, complete project. Each video, shown in its entirety, provides a broad contextual view of the subject matter. It’s also easy to place a selected clip from each video to match a more narrow-focused learning objective.
Learners in the 21st century respond well to short duration, faster-paced audiovisual illustration and instruction. Short duration clips from DLP videos can be repeated, for example, to illustrate verbal and nonverbal communications dilemmas and difficulties autistic individuals may present during real life interactions. The videos illustrate a variety of suggested autism-related communications tips for frontline personnel.
Debbaudt Legacy Productions Training Video License comes with Dennis Debbaudt’s autism-related training room experience and Dave Legacy’s clear technical advice and assistance for editing DLP video.
Our commitment to providing assist and enhance the training development process for every agency will exceed every expectation.
We welcome your feedback and subject matter advice as we develop new educational video.
Book Release 2020 from Woodbine House
Safeguarding Your Child with Autism: Strategies and Tools to Reduce Risks by Jack Scott, Ph.D., BCBA-D & Bairbre Flood, M.S.Ed.
This book explores 21st century issues of risk and unintentional injury for children and adults diagnosed as on the spectrum. It offers a plethora of tips, advice and new, impactful research. This timely book provides essential reading and a thorough review of safety strategies and tactics for every family, educator, therapist and autism advocate who will develop and put a safety plan in place for vulnerable children and adults who have autism or related disabilities
Dennis Debbaudt authored the Collaborating with Community Safety Partners and is cited throughout the book. Debbaudt Legacy Productions’ Autism On Scene Information Card template is just one of many added value surprises included in this book.
A chapter co-authored by Dennis and Gay Debbaudt from the 2008 Jossey – Bass book Embracing Autism: Connecting and Communicating with Children in the Autism Spectrum. Dennis & Gay’s humorous and insightful journey with their son Brad from toddler through teen years is well worth the read!
Dennis Debbaudt First-Person Background & History
Since the early 1990’s, I’ve written or co-written over sixty reports including my book, Autism, Advocates and Law Enforcement Professionals, chapters, journal reports and training video scripts and presented my reports at conferences and in training rooms throughout the U.S. and around the world.
My work’s been published by the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, Sheriff Magazine, Journal of Healthcare Protection Management and the North Carolina State Bar Journal and EK Shriver Center among others.
I’ve provided testimony at the U.S. Senate, and a combined session of the North Carolina House & Senate. I’ve been asked to advise and assist to legislators and aides in California, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Florida.
I’ve been on development teams for autism and law enforcement curriculum projects for governments and agencies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Illinois and Florida. I’ve worked directly on training projects for NYPD, Chicago PD, the Department of Homeland Security and agencies large and small throughout the country and around the world.
Internationally, I’ve consulted to and shared information with law enforcement agency representatives including Ottawa Police Service, Toronto Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Icelandic Police and New Zealand Police.
I’ve had the opportunity and honor to interview hundreds of autistic adults and hundreds more parents of children who have autism. I’ve had the privilege to present and share information with well over 100,000 law enforcement, public safety and criminal justice professionals at well over a 1,000 engagements throughout the world. The feedback and advice has guided my work for over twenty-five years. Their collective wisdom is reflected in every word, idea and image in my current presentations.
Prior to that experience, I had written or provided research for documentaries and investigative print reports for media outlets including the Detroit News, Monthly Detroit Magazine, Granada TV, Thames TV, WMAQ-TV, CTV W-5, Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice, B’nai B’rith Canada, and the Simon Weisenthal Center. These reports chronicled Nazi-era war criminals in the U.S. and Canada, international terrorism, extremist gun running in Europe and organized crime networks. I use the same approach to autism as I had in previous investigative reporting: research, interview sources of information, research again, dig out and report facts.
What do the 1980’s reporting experiences have in common with my current autism and law enforcement mission? Both experiences include issues of life and death. The former, sadly, mass murder, terrorist assassinations & bombings. The latter? Unintentional yet, too often, predictable death.
Over the past few years, my focus has shifted to instructor level training. I’ve learned through experience that a well-trained, experienced law enforcement trainer armed with effective subject matter will have a much wider impact with his or her peers than one specialist training repeated again and again. I’ve most recently presented instructor level training for the University of Oregon PD, U.S. Army Fort Polk Louisiana PD, New Braunfels, Texas PD and south Florida law enforcement instructors at Florida International University EMBRACE.
I’ve also recently presented keynote, conference and direct training for the FBI’s National Executive Institute, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s Annual Law Enforcement Summit, Federal Public Defenders Capital Habeas Unit National Conference, Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (FAU-CARD) safety conferences, the Laredo PD, Consul of Mexico, Laredo City Council’s International Autism & Safety conference, Texas Crime Prevention Association’s 44th Annual Conference and North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
My experiences in autism and law enforcement curriculum development range from serving as a: Curriculum Review Team member and resource for the first ever autism curriculum developed for law enforcement Why Law Enforcement Needs To Recognize Autism by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions in October 1999 to being a Subject Matter Expert for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s curriculum Autism Awareness for Law Enforcement in 2017-18. I wrote the script for and produced and was a co-author of the 2009 training video for criminal justice professionals for the state of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Bar Journal both titled Autism in the Criminal Justice System (2009).
I’m also a cited resource for the POST Field Guide: Police Response to People with Mental Illness or Developmental Disability, by the Municipal Police Officers’ Education & Training Commission, Hershey, Pennsylvania 2001; a consultant to Chicago Police Department’s autism training module in 2007; a Subject Matter Expert for California POST’s training video on autism, 2009; and developed and updated the Autism Trainer’s Guide for NYPD from 2008 through 2018. I also served as a consultant to a 1999 ABC News 20/20 segment on autism and false confession.
My curriculum identifies and provides advice on safe, effective management of the highest risk autism related contacts for policing and first response professionals and presented in the jargon-free language of everyday life.
I hope to work with you and your agency in the future. Let’s make it happen!
HBO short documentary report about the history of Dennis’ mission: