April 20, 2014

Mostly sunny

Police departments unite in support of families with autistic children

Police Officer Mike Schroll, left, of Hinckley Township, and Akron police Officer Mike Kulick tie a bow on a basket filled with toys Wednesday at the Medina County Sheriff's Office. (KIERA MANION-FISCHER / GAZETTE)

MEDINA — Police officers from all over the area gathered Wednesday night at the Medina County Sheriff’s Office to assemble about 100 baskets of toys, school supplies and holiday items for autistic children.

Officers will deliver the baskets to families of children with autism in Medina, Summit, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Portage and Huron counties before Halloween.

The effort was sponsored by Cops 4 Kids with Autism, a group founded by Officer Julianna Trunko, who works for both the Wakeman and MetroHealth police departments.

The group’s aim is to raise awareness among law enforcement officers about autism.

Trunko said the annual basket delivery “helps kids understand — that’s a safe person to go to.”

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Dachel/100000492400392 Anne Dachel

    Autism studies are done on 8 year olds, not eighty year olds. No one has ever found a comparable among adults—especially adults with severe autism whose symptoms are undeniable. That simple fact should scare us all. Experts believe that 80 percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18. We are on the edge of a tsunami about to hit social services as tens of thousands of these children age out of school each year. Itu2019ll be the taxpayers whou2019ll be left to pay for the autism epidemic. Itu2019s past the time for health officials to address autism as a health care emergency.nAnne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Dachel/100000492400392 Anne Dachel

    In the 1970s, the autism rate was one in every 10,000 kids and almost no one knew anyone with autism. That changed when the definition was broadened in 1994 to include other behaviors doctors were seeing in children. At that point the numbers exploded.n1995 1:500n2001 1:250n2004 1:166n2007 1:150n2009 1:110n2012 1:88nSome people claim that all the autism is the result of better diagnosing of a disorder thatu2019s always been around. If that were true, the rate would have leveled out between 1995 and 2000, after the definition was changed in 1994. That hasnu2019t happened.nAnne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Dachel/100000492400392 Anne Dachel

    This effort is a clear sign that something that was once a rare disorder is now so common that everyone knows someone–many lots of people–with an autistic child. The scary thing is that no health official can tell us why. Autism now affects one in every 88 kids, one in every 54 boys. That’s the official rate, but it’s actually based on studies of kids born in 2000. No one has updated the numbers to more current levels. nOfficially, thereu2019s no known cause or cure for autism. Thereu2019s nothing a mainstream doctor can tell a new mother so that her child who was born healthy and is developing normally wonu2019t also suddenly lose skills and regress into autism.nAnne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Dachel/100000492400392 Anne Dachel

    Thank you to these officers for their generous gifts for autistic children. Too often we read stories about autistic children having bad experiences with law enforcement. Cops 4 Kids with Autism sounds like a great group to teach officers about how to deal with affected children.nAnne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism