009 - Navigating Autism Behaviors: A Parent's Story - with R Doc Davis

1-podcast communication de-escalation negotiation May 09, 2023

On this episode of De-Escalation Conversations, we explore the world of autism and self-injurious behavior. Ronald “Doc” Davis shares his personal experience of having a son who struggles with self-aggression and the severity of his son's injuries, which have led to potential legal investigations. We examine the psychological impact on officers who use force in such situations and the importance of patience and communication skills in crisis intervention.

We also learn about the different ways autistic individuals self-calm and engage in self-stimulating behavior.

This episode of the podcast was recorded at the annual conference of ILEETA, the International Law Enforcement Educators Trainers Association, where Doc presents his insights as an instructor in Crisis Management. Overall, this episode sheds light on the challenges and strategies for De-Escalation in Autism-related crisis situations.

GUEST BIO: Ronald “Doc” Davis has a PhD in Psychology with a focus on Hostage Negotiation, Crisis Intervention, Stress, and Autism. After serving 4 years in the military and 20 years in law enforcement, he retired from the Boynton Beach Florida Police Department as a Sergeant in charge of their Crime Prevention Unit. Additionally, he served as the Team Commander for both the Hostage Negotiation and Critical Incident Stress Management Teams. Doc also taught undergraduate college courses for a number of years before deciding to focus on the Law Enforcement community’s training needs.

Key Topics:

- Introduction to the podcast episode and speaker

- Self-injury behaviors (SIBs) in the world of autism

- Son's self-aggressive behaviors and injuries

- Potential legal issues related to severity of injuries

- Lawsuit and prosecution in escalated situation

- Importance and psychological impact of use of force by officers

- Story of Elizabeth Bonkers, a nonverbal valedictorian who learned to communicate through typing

- Importance of having home security cameras and responding to reports of potential abuse

- Doc's doctoral research on crisis intervention, with personal focus on autism

- Self-stimulating behaviors and efforts to redirect

- Doc's background and transition from law enforcement to psychology

- Importance of active listening and empathy in communication and interventions

- Broad topics related to autism spectrum and different state statutes on psychological evaluations

- Overview of the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association conference

- ILEETA organization and connection with the host and speaker's presentation experience during the conference.

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