Team Autism 2 Awesome Helps to Change Lives
Team Autism 2 Awesome helps families enhance the quality of life for autistic children.
by Kai EL Zabar
Kerry L. Brooks, Founder and President of Team Autism 2 Awesome, Inc., says “We Train The World To Be First 2 Respond.” Mr Brooks like many parents of children who are diagnosed with severe autism find themselves at a crossroads between fear and the desire to help their child to have the best quality of life that they can. For Mr. Brooks and wife, he says, “Tthat was thirteen years ago and it became our greatest crisis.”
He said that during their incredible journey they discovered researched based techniques, and consequently also developed some of their own techniques unique to their son’s need to help their son reach his personal best potential. He says, “We allowed our greatest crisis to become our greatest miracle.”
Today his son is a freshman in high school and is consistently on the honor roll list. He participates in organized sports, plays a musical instrument, is learning a second language, is an excellent swimmer, is currently taking physics and advanced math. He is preparing to attend college.
The Brook’s passion for their son’s well being became Team Autism 2 Awesome which was founded in 2008. It evolved out of research and extensive first-hand experience. According to Mr. Brooks, “We developed day- to- day real life programs designed to teach social and life skills.”
Many parents unless they have celebrity status or have the financial means find themselves at a lost because they have no way to manage the care. So celebrities like Holly Robinson-Peete and others have created foundations to raise awareness and funding to assist the less fortunate who find themselves facing the responsibility of a child diagnosed with autism.
Mr. Brooks believe that with proper knowledge and guidance families can really provide a quality of life for their children that are autistic which is what he seeks for all families who utilize Team Autism 2 Awesome. Team Autism 2 Awesome helps families enhance the quality of life for autistic children.
Team Autism 2 Awesome participants will benefit from learning:
How to make the brain more efficient by using neuroplasticity
How to communicate effectively
How to reduce stress
How to verbally de-escalate many situations
How to keep child safe and work with law enforcement
How to elicit appropriate social behavior
The organization provides consultation, training and mentoring to parents, providers, schools, organizations and companies. They also provide on-line training to parents and providers at minimum cost.
In addition, they train law enforcement on how to recognize autism and how to appropriately respond. This knowledge if applied and observed properly can save lives.
Ever since the United States Supreme Court’s 1974 and 1975 double remands in Lessard v Schmidt (414 U. S. 473 and 421 U.S. 957), the police have been in the front lines of our society’s struggle with mental illness. Lessard made it more difficult for family and mental health professionals to place individuals into treatment and has left this responsibility — by and large — to the police.
Though officers are not and should not be street-corner psychologists, the fact is that they come in daily contact with people who have a variety of emotional problems. Consequently, cops need to have at least a basic understanding of how to communicate with Emotionally Disturbed Persons (EDPs) in order to diffuse possible violent encounters.
Research suggests that persons with developmental disabilities and other mental issues are seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than others. In some jurisdictions, EDP-related calls may be one of the largest number of non-criminal calls received by law enforcement. Law enforcement officers also provide a sizable number of mental health referrals because they are often the first to respond to EDP generated complaints.
The Numbers are Staggering
With more than 300 diagnosed mental disorders — the professionals aren’t even sure of the exact number — it’s not surprising that police often contact those with emotional or behavioral problems. Even with legitimate concerns about faddish over-diagnosis the numbers are staggering.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness maintains that:
• One in four adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year
• About 2.4 million Americans live with schizophrenia
• 2.6 percent of Americans have a bipolar disorder
• 5.2 million Americans have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders
• One-half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and three-quarters by age 24
• 90 percent of those who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder
This doesn’t mean that these individuals have committed a crime when law enforcement officers contact them, an important distinction that Gary Klugiewicz pointed out in an article written by PoliceOne’s Doug Wyllie last May. In fact, it’s more likely they will be victims, not suspects. Estimates suggest only about 1 percent of those suffering from mental health issues are dangerous. However, in the most difficult of circumstances officers discover that these individuals can be a threat to themselves or others. Officers are rightly wary and have legitimate safety concerns every time they respond to EDP-related calls.
Chicago witnessed the failed recognition of mental illness resulting in the police over zealous aggression towards at least two mentally ill cases, ending in the deaths of Phillip Coleman, and 19 year old Quintonio LeGrier this past December as well as a neighbor and innocent bystander Bettie Jones who was shot and killed.
About Kerry L. Brooks
Mr. Kerry L. Brooks has had a colorful and varied life experience before his current position as Founder & President Team Autism 2 Awesome, Inc.
He has 25 years Federal Law Enforcement Special Agent & Trainer an d has served as a United States Diplomat-Nicosia, Cyprus & Lagos, Nigeria.
Naturally he is an Autism Advocate and Author of Children Book “Daddy & Me”, Song Writer, Consultant, Inspiration Speaker, each inspired by his personal experience with his son who was diagnosed with severe autism.
His Speaking engagements include:
He is a contributed Speaker for Phoenix Police Department on DVD regarding Mental Health Crisis for 15,000 first responders in Arizona. He has served as representative at the International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference in 2014 and 2015. Mr. Brooks has been a guest speaker at TLC Private School, Lagos, Nigeria, 2013, on Radio Show Lagos, Nigeria, on TV Show Lagos, Nigeria. In 201 2 he appeared as guest Speaker at U.S. Consulate, Lagos, Nigeria, for over 300 Participants and at Children’s Day Conference, Lagos, Nigeria.
He was a guest trainer for Public Agency Training Council (PATC) in 2011. In 2009 Mr. Brooks appeared as a guest presenter at Autism One Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
He has a Master’s Degree from Troy University, Troy, Alabama and received Trauma Team Training Certification from Department of Justice