One police officer from Washington DC is being hailed as a hero after going above and beyond for soothing an autistic boy having a meltdown.
Taylor Pomilla had just picked up her 4-year-old son Andrew from school and were headed home in the Metro. Instead of a quiet 45 minute ride home, it turned out to be the longest time for Pomilla.
“For those of you that don’t know, when you have a child with autism, your child will have some good days and then they will have some bad ones. Today was one of those bad days,” Pomilla wrote on Facebook. “Andrew’s biggest behavior problem (that he has been working on by learning calming strategies) is that sometimes when he gets upset, it will go two steps too far, and escalate into a full on meltdown/breakdown.”
Andrew refused to sit down and when his mom tried calming him he began throwing tantrums. “He started rolling on the floor, screaming, his shoe fell off and he flung it across the train, all while I’m on the floor trying to calm him down (in a dress) with all the candy I had,” wrote Pomilla. “Then he starts the kicking, hitting, pulling my hair while everyone in rush hour stares on the train, most thinking I was a bad parent who had an out of control child, even though really he can’t help it.”
After 20 minutes, they exited the subway much before their stop as she tried calming Andrew in futile from a different station. He continued rolling on the floor for 15 more minutes in an epic meltdown.
It’s at that crucial moment when DC Metro Officer Dominic Case turned up to help the distraught mother.
He asked Pomilla where she was heading, and offered to ride along with them to help keep Andrew calm.
He started showing all his police gadgets to Andrew to distract him and held his hand as they moved about the subway system. he boarded the train, and sat with them for the entire 30-minute journey.
He watched videos with Andrew, clicked pictures with him, and gave him a badge at the end of the trip. “He honestly restored my faith that there are good people still left in the world,” Pomilla wrote on Facebook.
After Pomilla’s Facebook post went viral, her son and Officer Case were again re-united and have become best friends.