CIT 13: Autism (MN POST #09053-0570)

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MN POST #:  09053-0570
This course fulfills two hours under the mandated category of autism.

Course Goal:
This two-hour course is intended to increase awareness and knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and introduce first responders to practical tips and de-escalation strategies.  The goal is to produce safe, effective, and positive interactions between autistic people and first responders.


  • For the learner to demonstrate an understanding of autism including what Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is, it’s prevalence in society, including race, culture and gender.
  • Recognize common characteristics and behaviors associated with ASD.
  • Increase the learner’s awareness, knowledge, and response to people with autism and awareness of situations that may affect the individual and the first responder’s safety.
  • Recognize how community and information sharing can be used to aid responders as they interact with autistic people.
  • To understand and learn de-escalation strategies, tools, technology, and skills that can used when working or interacting with people with autism.

Instructor:  Nichole (Nikki) Reinardy

Nichole Reinardy has been a special education teacher since 1998.  She has obtained a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Moorhead State University and a Masters of Arts in Education from St. Mary’s University.

Ms Reinardy earned her State Autism Certificate from Hamline University and was an adjunct instructor in the Autism Certificate Program at Hamline for several years. During the past 24 years of educational instruction Ms Reinardy has been a special education teacher in Federal Settings 1-4, which is a District Autism Specialist/Inclusion Specialist, a part of the District Behavioral Team and Evaluation teams and has been part of the MN Statewide Autism Network for special educators for over 20 years.

Ms. Reinardy has worked in group homes, as Personal Care Attendant (PCA) for an adult with ASD and was a volunteer travel leader for Adults with Disabilities for 10 years. Currently she works for Minnesota Transitions Charter Schools as a Virtual Special Education teacher and District Autism Consultant. In addition, in her professional life, she is an adoptive mother to a daughter who has a history of trauma/neglect.   Being a parent of a child who has emotional/behavioral challenges has required her to work with local law enforcement.