Parents of children with autism are often anxious about how their children would be around police officers, but one officer with the Stockton Police Department in California knew exactly how to deal with the situation.
A good Samaritan brought attention to a “scared and confused” child to the Stockton Police Department. They shared on their Facebook post, “Shortly thereafter, a downtown bike officer located the child,” the post continued. “The officer identified the child through a bus pass and learned the child had non-verbal autism.”
The officer came up with a clever way to help the child. “To communicate, the officer gave the child a pencil and paper,” the post said. “Through this form of communication, the officer was able to locate a family member and the child was safely reunited with a relative.”
The post has garnered a lot of attention and many parents of children with autism have offered gratitude and helpful suggestions as well. “This brought me happy tears,” one reader wrote. “Thank you for your understanding, compassion, and patience! I have a son who is nonverbal and has Autism and can’t imagine the parents’ relief when he was safely brought back home.”
“Great training!” another woman wrote. “My son with Autism ran away from school last year. He was found a mile away by a paramedic and SPD. They did an amazing job getting him to communicate and helped him feel safe. Thank you so much for all you do!”
People have also praised the officer’s posture in making the child feel less threatened. “Great job I noticed he kneeled down to the child’s level which makes them less scary,” he wrote.