Broward Sheriff's Office: Public Information Office

PIO Number: 21-4-27


Date: April 28, 2021


As we recognize April as Autism Awareness Month, Sheriff Gregory Tony is joined by special guest Margi Hedelund from the Autism Society of Florida's Board of Directors during the latest episode of Shop Talk with the Sheriff. Sheriff Tony and Hedelund discuss her life as the mother of two sons diagnosed with autism and the role she plays in helping the Autism Society of Florida provide resources, education and guidance to families in need.

"There's a saying, 'if you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism.' Our boys are a great example of that. Identical twins, very different on the spectrum. Autism is a developmental disorder. Autism is not a disease. There's no magic cure, there's no medication that can make autism go away. It's a different way of learning. It's a different way of seeing the world," Hedelund said.

Hedelund, who is married to BSO Pompano Beach Captain Martin Hedelund, trains law enforcement officers on how to interact and work with children diagnosed with autism. She tailors each program to the department and community.

"What does your infrastructure look like? Down here we have a lot of sources of water and we always tell our first responders if a child with autism elopes (goes to) to that body of water. They go to movement, they go to sound," Hedelund explained.

For more information and resources about autism, click HERE.

Listen to this episode of Shop Talk with the Sheriff for free here or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Pocket Casts, Breaker, Overcast, RadioPublic and iHeartRadio.

If you are interested in submitting questions or topics to discuss on an episode, please send a direct message via Facebook (@BrowardSheriffsOffice), Twitter (@browardsheriff), Instagram (@BrowardSheriffsOffice) or email the questions to AskTheSheriff@sheriff.org.

Miranda Grossman/PIO