Podcast Episode 04. Hear a former police officer talk about how to deal with authority in a more positive way.
Ian is an ex-police officer who dealt with incidents where young people with additional needs were involved. He saw how a lack of understanding on both sides could often turn difficult situations into highly stressful experiences for everyone.
Sometimes figures of authority lack experience in dealing with people with additional needs. Similarly, people with additional needs lack experience dealing with people in authority. This can be a huge problem in testing situations, when tensions are high.
The answer, according to Ian, is education on both sides. He talks about how important it is for a young person or their parents/carers to explain why they are behaving in a particular way. He provides advice on how to get rid of the unease, and sometimes even fear, that young people with additional needs have of anyone in authority. Ian also gives tactics you can use to make future encounters with anyone in authority a positive experience for everyone.
Ian speaks from experience. He was a police officer of 34 years of standing and has experience with the UK Border Agency. He is also a parent to a child with additional needs. He reminds us that if our young people need help in the future, it might well be the police they turn to. If they fear the police, then their request for help might not be received quite so well
[.45] – About Ian and his experience as a police officer
[1.30] – Need for parents to understand there is often a lack of training
[3.30] – Make sure explain to the police officer the needs of the individual
[6.30] – Encourage children to be proactive with police officers and approach them
[8.20] – Essential skill is to develop confidence in dealing with authority
[10.30] – How to manage an airport encounter or similar stressful situation
[12.30] – Try to reduce the stress by increasing familiarity with authority
[16.15] – Not all encounters need to end badly
[16.45] – Explain but don’t apologise
[19.15] – Talk to young people about dealing with authority and how they should expect to be treated but also how they should treat the authorities
Take the time to explain to the person in authority what the issues are
Be proactive and find ways to engage with authority figures and make them more familiar to young people with additional needs