For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police : Code Switch : NPR: Lorraine Spencer has been watching the news from Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed by police, and worrying about her own son's safety. Jermaine is 16 years old and bi-racial, with a dark complexion. He also has autism and wants to be more independent, especially as he nears adulthood.
"It's my worst nightmare," she says. "I have the issue with him not understanding, possibly, a command to put your hands up or to get on the ground. So, yes, it's scary."
According to the advocacy group Autism Unites, people with autism spectrum disorders are seven times more likely to interact with police over their lifetimes, compared with people without a cognitive disorder.