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Virtual reality helps police learn to interact with autistic

WASHINGTON — Police officers are now using virtual reality to learn the best ways to interact with people who suffer from autism and de-escalate situations that could quickly turn awry.

A new training simulation using virtual reality headsets is being rolled out by Axon, the company best known for developing the Taser. The company is partnering with Chicago police to train its officers and plans to make it available to police departments across the U.S.

The officers can experience a situation from both the perspective of an autistic person and responding police officers.

David Kearon with the advocacy group Autism Speaks says it can be a “really fine line” for police to identify someone with autism as opposed to someone who could pose a risk.

Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press