Avonte Oquendo was the autistic teen reported missing October 4, 2013. It was reported that he walked out of his school. He was seen walking towards a nearby park. His remains were found 11 miles away from the school. Confirmation comes by way of DNA testing. A body was reported by a student snapping photos for a school project. The police noticed that the body had the same clothing that Avonte was reported to be wearing.
Incidentally, Avonte Oquendo’s family has filed suit against the city of New York. Their chief complaint is that he was allowed to walk out of the building, and they waited too long to notify police.
It has not been said if Avonte had issues of wandering, but it was reported that he loved riding the subways. Avonte Oquendo was mute. He could not talk.
Autism affects individuals differently. Children may have similar symptoms, but they are never exactly alike. Some are high-functioning, others are low-functioning. Some are aggressive, others are docile. Some are mute, others love to communicate, yet others have to be prompted to talk. Some have perfect hearing, some need hearing aids, and some are deaf. Some have anxiety and can wander.
Any parent who has a child on the Autism Spectrum try to push away situations like Avonte’s from their mind. They work hard in ensuring their child’s safety. It is not easy trusting someone to care for their child. When they send their child to school, they are confident they are in good hands. I know, I have a child who has autism, and my heart sympathizes with his family.