Andy MattisonApr 2, 2017, 8:10 pmApr 3, 2017, 10:02 pm

Westchester emergency personnel receive autism awareness training

For Autism Awareness Month, Eastchester EMTs have placed autism awareness decals on their ambulances

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17-year old Marcello Masciarelli is a little shy in person, and as child on the spectrum, his mom is with him every step of the way to help him.

"They just want to be a part of the community as much as everybody else,” said Jamie Masciarelli, Marcello’s mother. “And they want to be included. They want a friend."

Now, EMT’s across New York are including autism awareness in their training. In Eastchester the staff has added decals on their ambulance to signify that inclusion and is learning how to best treat a patient on the autism spectrum while on a call.

"Depending on how their parents are or who they're with, we try and keep as normal as possible,” said Eastchester EMS Chief, Nicholas Lourous. “If it's talking quietly or staying away from them, if that keeps them calm. We try to do that as best we can."

Masciarelli says proper training is a big help to the autism community, and keeping a safe distance is key when interacting with someone.

"They usually like to leave a lot of space between them,” added Jamie Masciarelli “They're not just ones to reach out give someone a hug or keep eye contact. They'll look down."

Eastchester isn't the only one getting involved. The program first started in New Rochelle and in Mount Vernon, the police department has also put the autism awareness decals on two police cars.

"Everyone’s on a different spectrum when it comes to autism,” continued Chief Louros. “We treat everyone single handedly as it's needed for their specific case and just as long as they're comfortable and we can treat them, we're happy with that."

All this amounts to proper training for proper treatment spreading from EMT’s to the police to better serve the autism community.

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