Shortly after receiving Tommy’s diagnosis, his family experienced the first occurrence of a terrifying but common behavior of autism spectrum disorder – elopement. He was just under three years old at the time and nonverbal.
“I screamed and yelled for John to help as I couldn’t find him. John was LITERALLY looking in the canal between boats to see if he fell in. I ran in flip flops up and down our dead end street screaming his name.”
– Jeannie, Tommy’s mom
Tommy’s family safely located him, though fifteen minutes had passed before it was apparent that he had eloped, and ten additional minutes were spent trying to find him. This would not be the last time Tommy eloped. Another occurrence happened about 3 weeks later. Tommy was found 15ft from a main road, looking for license plates (an interest of his).
This was the moment that Jeannie, his mom, realized that she needed a solution.
Tommy is a sweet, fun and creative boy who lives with his mother, father and older sister, who just like him, has autism spectrum disorder. He enjoys handwriting and watching basketball.