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Can someone join a police force with Asperger's Syndrome?

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  • Can someone join a police force with Asperger's Syndrome?

    Hi, I am a recent high school graduate who is attending college. I've always had an interest in law enforcement and in helping people. However, I was disagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (It's high functioning Autism) as a young child. I was wondering if I would even be considered for a police job if I disclosed my disability. I heard a story about an officer near Pittsburgh who was suspended or fired for having a disability and not disclosing it when a job offer was made. I've never had a criminal record and I've never been hospitalized. I'm an Eagle scout also. I'm just wondering if it is possible to join a police force. I know requirements vary by state sometimes. I did come across this on the department of Justice's website. I don't know if it means anything. Is Asperger's a disqualfying condition? The ADA says as long as I can perform the job in question with resonable accomidations in order to meet the requirements that they can't refuse to hire me based on a disability. I know I could pass a psychological exam and a physical test. But what I am still wondering are some police departments more progressive than others? Are there any active officers out there with any kind of disability. I met one officer with Asperger's. I was just wondering if there are any more active disabled officers out there who can give good advice on the do's and don'ts of the hiring process.

    http://www.ada.gov/copsq7a.htm
    Last edited by mrld1630; 08-16-2010, 04:23 PM.

  • #2
    It depends on if it is a disability that inhibits you performance of the job. If it is something you more or less grow out of I don't see where it would be an issue. Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes but in general law enforcement isn't typically something you can get into with any disability.

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    • #3
      It will depend on how your Asperger's affects you at the time you apply.

      As part of the hiring process, police applicants are administered a psych exam. Its purpose is to determine whether you are free from any emotional or mental condition that might adversely affect the exercise of the powers of a peace officer and to otherwise ensure that the candidate is capable of withstanding the psychological demands of the position. If your Asperger's causes you to fall outside of the acceptable range for satisfactory performance of the job duties, you will be disqualified. If it does not, you will go on to the next phase of the hiring process.

      Generally the exam assesses both abnormal behavior, normal behavior and then determines whether you possess the traits found here http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/...cal-traits.pdf FWIW, many people without Asperger's fail the psych and there is no reasonable accommodation within the meaning of ADA for those who fail to meet this required criteria.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        Aspergers and HFA aren't the same thing. Whether or not you can perform the job will be directly proportional to how your aspergers affects you. However, I would think if you were characteristic enough to get the diagnosis, then you're too severe for LE work. Aspergers is a very specific diagnosis on the spectrum, unlike PDD-NOS. I'm sure it is not impossible, but it is unlikely.
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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        • #5
          The above answers are good, but I'll just add this is likely not going to hurt you. If you function normally it won't be a hurtle.

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          • #6
            I actually know a cop with Asperger's. The officer has actually stepped forward and made presentations, de-mystifying the syndrome.

            Are there knuckle-dragging departments who will overlook a qualified candidate with Asperger's. Yes.

            Are there two-faced departments who will say the support the ADA and....oh, pick the one candidate without Asperger's because he/she stood out more from the one who has it because they don't understand it? Yes.

            BUT, there are departments who will take a qualified candidate with Asperger's because that department is a little smarter, and way better than those like those other two.
            Last edited by Kieth M.; 06-20-2010, 01:29 PM.
            "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

            Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

            Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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            • #7
              Look at the grammar and structure of your post. They are waaaay better than you see from prospective applicants without Asperger's. I'd say based on that fact alone you should go and apply.

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              • #8
                I sent you a PM, dude.
                MAC

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                • #9
                  Ok, I have an updated sort of question in regards to some of the posts. After some sifting through the search engine on this site, I came across a topic about an autistic police explorer. While Autism can be a very serious condition for some, people who are very higth functioning like me, have had years of successful therapy to make up for lost social skills. My question is, how would I be able to prove to a department that I apply to that I can function as a police officer? Is it during the interviews? The polygraph? The psychological evaluations? How do I properly disclose to them my disability? I don't want to not disclose it and get into trouble. I mean, I'm so high functioning people tell me that they could not even tell that I have Asperger's at first. But, I have a fear that if I don't disclose it, and they find out I will be disqualified as a candidate.

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                  • #10
                    If they don't ask then don't disclose it. There are medical questions they can ask and there are some they can't.

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                    • #11
                      I wonder if you are the same person from another post...different username and same area of the US....hmmmm.....

                      http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...88#post2459588

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mrld1630 View Post
                        ... I was disagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome ... as a young child.
                        Time for a second opinion. I suggest you have yourself re-evaluated, unless you want to carry the diagnosis around for the rest of your life.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nightshifter09 View Post
                          I wonder if you are the same person from another post...different username and same area of the US....hmmmm.....

                          http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...88#post2459588
                          Yeah... I was wondering that very same thing.
                          Sure, that badge will get you midgets, but those midgets will get that badge!

                          The more I learn about people, the more I prefer the company of my dogs.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nightshifter09 View Post
                            I wonder if you are the same person from another post...different username and same area of the US....hmmmm.....

                            http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...88#post2459588
                            WTF, do yuo ever have anything to add to this forum?

                            To the OP, as suggested, go get re-checked. You made it to college, so obviously you did something right. Autism varies, however you also don't "grow" out of it, it's in your genes. Just go to the Dr. However if you have trouble in social situations, then yes you may have a problem. Best of luck.
                            "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

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                            • #15
                              1- If you aren't educated about autism or Asperger's in particular, please refrain from posting. Several of you are merely advertising your ignorance. "Get re-checked" indeed. *rolls eyes*

                              2- From several emails and PM exchanges with the OP, I can tell you I am 100% confident he is not the other poster some of you accused him of being. I fully understand the need for cops to be suspicious, but you have no basis whatsoever for it in this case.
                              MAC

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