Group of Friends Rescue 5-Year-Old Autistic Boy Lost in the Woods

Facebook MAPD
(Photo: Facebook / Hudson Massachusetts Police Department)

A Massachusetts police department is thanking a group of teenage boys who helped a 5-year-old boy with autism who was separated from his mother while hiking in the woods.  

The Hudson Massachusetts Police Department took to their Facebook page on Wednesday to share the news and thank the young men publicly and shared a photo as part of their “day’s heroes.”

“Chief Burks and the Hudson Police Department would like to thank a group of young men who located a five year old boy who was lost in the woods of Danforth Lot today,” they wrote. “The group was out playing in the woods when they came across the child, knowing a child this young shouldn’t be in the woods alone, they [asked] if he was lost or needed help.”

While the department had called in police dogs and requested the aid of helicopters to search for the young boy, the teenagers managed to find him before the authorities did. It was reported that the unidentified boy was dazed and soaked after falling in water when the teenagers found him.

MORE: Groundbreaking Study Might Help to Predict Autism in Babies Before Symptoms Appear

“When the child confirmed he was indeed lost, the group took it upon themselves to stop enjoying their day and assist the lost child,” the post continued. “As the Hudson Police received the call of a child with autism lost in the woods and were arriving on the scene, these young men were walking child out to safety. Thanks to these find young men for noticing something wasn’t right and then stepping up to help. GREAT JOB!”

The post has more than 3,000 reactions since being shared. One of the commenters, Emily Arsenault, identified herself as the young boy’s mom and thanked the boys again.

“That was my son,” she wrote. “Thank you guys so much, I can’t express the relief I felt hearing someone helped him out.”

In response to Arsenault’s comment, another Facebook user, Denise M Petterson Stephenson, identified herself as one of the rescuer’s moms and reached out, writing, “Glad your son is safe my son was one of the kids that helped.”

Studies from the Autism Speaks Foundation have shown that autistic children are known to wander, putting a common, dangerous and tremendous stress on families. Researchers found that nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder attempt to wander or bolt from a safe, supervised place, putting them directly in harm’s way.

Related:

Autism 101: Effective Ways to Help Your Child Communicate and Thrive
Lush Employee Provides Moment of Zen for Stressed-Out Mom and Her Son With Autism
Parents Are Building a Neighborhood for Adults With Autism