Youth Firesetting Behavior and Autism: Awareness, Recognition, Action, and Education

Jerrod Brown, Don Porth, Bethany Hastings, Cheryl Arndt, Kathi Osmonson, Janina Cich, Deb Huntley


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that includes communication, social, and behavioral challenges to varying degrees.  No causal relationship between individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and firesetting has been established.  Children are naturally curious about fire and that curiosity may be amplified in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  This article highlights fire awareness issues related to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  When firesetting issues are identified, corrective action is recommended.  A variety of ways fire educators can improve the effectiveness of fire safety training are identified, including an explanation of the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder, which provide a roadmap for successful education and intervention.


Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), fire, intervention, youth


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