42 participants in our meeting this week!
Sgt. Cory Sutton of the OU Police Department talked about the training he and his wife have created to help Oklahoma law enforcement officers interact more effectively with persons on the autism spectrum. 
To read more about the meeting and see lots of photos, click on the gold Recap headline link above.
To watch the entire recorded meeting, click on the Sooner Club Secretary account on YouTube.
Club President Jonna Buck called the meeting to order at 7:07 a.m. We had 42 participants online!
Mary Sallee got the party started by playing "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!" while we each sung along with our mics muted for a "better effect." April Heiple led the invocation and Conni Eckstein the Pledge of Allegiance and 4-Way Test recitation. 
Reagan Danner-Brooks husband police officer Chase Jorgensen and Linda Holt's sister were guests!  
Conni, Jonna, Katie Kimberling, Jack O'Hare and Mark Sandifer all had Happy Dollars--to thank Reagan for helping them with home projects, in gratefulness for a $25K District 5770 grant to support food insecurities for K-12 school students, for visiting grand kids, for the life of Congressman John Lewis of Georgia and for a nesting peacock hen! 
Jonna reported that the club fundraiser--the selling of items with the Rotary logo--has raised $400. Taylor Maudlin Wagner has the items ordered ready for pick up at Visit Norman, Monday-Friday 8-5. She also can bring to the July 28 in-person club meeting at Toly Park in downtown Norman. 
Linda Holt introduced her nephew Sgt. Cory Sutton, of the OU Police Dept.
Sgt. Sutton has had several stints in law enforcement--including the Norman PD.
He and his wife Traci (Linda's niece) have developed a training course for Oklahoma law enforcement officers to help them in interactions with persons on the autism spectrum. The Suttons have twin daughters with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, which is not autism, but has many of the same characteristics. They also had a friend with a child with autism who had a negative experience with law enforcement and wanted to provide training to prevent future such interactions.
According to research Sgt. Sutton cited, 50-80% of officer encounters are with a person with a disability of some type.  He also noted that persons with disabilities are seven times more likely to be victims of crime, and those with autism are likely to have a negative interaction with law enforcement because they process commands/requests much slower than "neuro typical" persons which causes officers to escalate their actions, not realizing the person has a disability. 
Here are more of his presentation slides and photos from our online meeting. 
We had questions from many members who have children or grandchildren with autism and learned of Michael McCreary who helps people understand autism through his comedy. 
Thank you Sgt. Sutton and Traci for all you're doing to help law enforcement and those with autism and their families!