How a student project led to autism training at USC’s Department of Public Safety
July 6, 2021
Master’s students Monica Caris and Riley McGuire just wanted to educate people about autism, but already their capstone project has become part of yearly officer training.
By Grayson Schmidt / USC News
For Monica Caris and Riley McGuire, a leadership capstone in occupational therapy extended beyond academia.
The two master’s students at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy wanted to make a difference in their local community by promoting education and awareness about a topic that’s personal to both: autism.
After seeing extensive news coverage on negative interactions with law enforcement last year, the pair knew they wanted to share their experiences and knowledge with a local agency, but the Los Angeles Police Department seemed like a tall order. The two ultimately decided to focus their attention much closer to home and start with the USC Department of Public Safety.
The hope was to educate the department, commonly known as DPS, on what signs to look for and how those signs can often be misinterpreted by those who are unfamiliar with autism.
Read the full article at USC News.