Monday, October 01, 2007

11 Year Old Autistic Boy In Zealand Killed In Traffic

I felt a real jolt when I saw this story from New Zealand on Hawke's Bay Today of an 11 year old autistic boy killed running alongside an expressway after sneaking out of his home clad only in his pyjamas. Police said Andrew had managed to flee his home in Spriggs Avenue despite his family doing all they could to ensure he stayed safely inside.

A few years ago Conor snuck out of the house without me noticing while I was engaged in a long business call. He crossed a parking lot in front of a busy drinking establishment and was crossing a busy main street when a good Samaritan stopped and took him to safety in a nearby service station convenience store.

Conor is alive and well, unlike Andrew Seong Nam Chan of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, because of good luck and a good Samaritan. I have never in my life felt such intense fear, and intense guilt, as I did after realizing Conor had left the house. To this day, neither feeling is ever too far from my conscious mind. My thoughts are very much with Andrew's family.

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