Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why was he alone on MAX?

[Updated below]. It seems like a rather astonishing situation where an apparent autistic child unable at all to communicate with others was found alone on MAX. From 6:30 p.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday - no one reported him missing. If it were not for the public appeal - he might still be missing. [Update: Investigators trying to find out why autistic boy alone on MAX wasn't reported missing].

Incomprehensibly, "a Multnomah County chapter representative with the Autism Society of Oregon, cautioned against rushing to judge the parents." Rather than offer how that applied in this situation she attempts to shift the focus, and arguably blame, to the police.

She "said the case underscores the need for police to use special "picture exchange" books that allow nonverbal autistic children to communicate through images. Her group advocates for precincts to carry the books." Just how often do the police need to interview autistic children?

Frankly it is unclear how that would determine who his parents are and where they are located. But there is nothing like seizing the moment to push a favorite project. Unfortunately too the Oregonian was an enabler in eliciting the comments that were not pertinent to the failure to report the child as missing.

See this May 1, 2012 update, in part, from the police department. 

"After the child was placed in protective custody of Oregon DHS, an associate of the child's mother came forward and helped with information to confirm the child's name and identity, but the associate did not know of the mother's whereabouts. Attempts to locate the mother that night were met with negative results.

On Saturday morning, the mother contacted detectives and was advised that the child had been placed with DHS, pending a full investigation."

It doesn't look good for this child.

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