Mom Thanks Metro Police Officer who Helped her Autistic Son

For 2 years I picked up my son from his Autism Program five days a week.

While I waited for him, I sat in the parking lot and watched the metro trains drive by.

My son loves trains.

And every day I would watch a young mom, with a baby strapped to her chest, try to get her young, autistic son out of the building and to the train.

I’d watch her hold onto him on the platform. I watched him drop to the ground and roll.

I watched her panic. I could see it all over her face.

And for 2 years, 5 days a week, I said a silent thank you that I didn’t have to bring my son, who loves trains, on a train to get home.

I know he couldn’t do it safely. And the thought of being trapped on a train with him and passengers, where the norm is to sit and be quiet, made me almost ill.

I think about that young mother often and wonder if she is still riding the train with her much older autistic son now.

Today, I came across this viral story about the kindness of a police officer.

Taylor Pomilla knows first-hand the challenges of raising a young autistic boy.

“For those of you that don’t know, when you have a child with autism, your child will have some good days and then they will have some bad ones,” Pomilla wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “Today was one of those bad days.”

Pomilla and her son, Andrew, were taking the metro ride home after she picked him up from school. It’s about a 45-minute ride depending on delays.

“As long I keep him occupied with his iPad or my phone he will sit patiently in our seat. Of course I do always have fruit snacks or candy handy, in case he starts trying to get up or move,” Pomilla wrote.

Andrew was having a particularly bad day, according to Pomilla.

“Andrew was persistent on wanting to get out of the seat to stand in the middle of train while moving and running back and forth through it,” she said. “I kept trying everything to get him to sit, but he just wouldn’t (this fight went on for 20 min), that is when he his regular toddler tantrum turned into a meltdown, or what I call, the point of no return for him.”

The metro ride home took a turn for the worst.

“He started rolling on the floor, screaming, his shoe fell off and he flung it across the train,” Pomilla wrote. “Then he starts the kicking, hitting, pulling my hair while everyone in rush hour stares on the train, most thinking I was a bad parent who had an out of control child, even though really he can’t help it.”

She decided to let everyone know he has autism in an attempt to stop the stares.

“We got off at Gallery Place, one stop up from Metro Center where we change lines, still he doesn’t let up and it gets worse,” she wrote. “Now we’re rolling around on the dirty station floor. He is covered in black dirt.”

It lasted about 15 minutes.

“At this point I am crying out of pure frustration and feeling so sad that Andrew is being judged right now,” Pomilla wrote.

Then, the unexpected happened. A Metro Transit police came to Pomilla’s rescue.

“He asked where I was going and I told him Ballston station,” Pomilla wrote.

Without hesitation he said, “Okay I’ll come on the train.”

She explains that the police officer took Andrew under his wing and started showing off his gadgets, gave him a police badge and rode the Metro the entire way home with the officer.

“Whenever he got off he would hold Andrews hand and walk with him. He sat next to Andrew as he requested on the train, acted interested as he showed him silly videos, and he even made funny faces in the Instagram face filters when Andrew asked,” Pomilla said.

She took to Facebook in a post that went viral.

She says she believes her story will help others out there.

“He honestly restored my faith that there are good people still left in the world,” she wrote.

“To that officer, I truly can not say thank you enough for your immeasurable amount of kindness and for making Andrews day (probably his whole year). Throughout the whole ordeal I didn’t get his name.”

In an update to the post on July 22, Pomilla says, ‘Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for recognizing this amazing officer and all of the kind comments! I have received such an incredible outpouring of support and it truly means the world to me!! I wanted to let everyone know that the Officer D. Case has been found!!! I have spoke to him on the phone and it looks like we might be reuniting soon.’

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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