A 10-year old Autistic boy who was left all alone on a Community Place van for nearly 10 hours was resting at home Thursday night. Khallid Latimore never came home from his after school program Tuesday evening. Police found him in the van parked on the other side of the city Wednesday morning.
Khallid’s family says he's back to being himself. However, he did stay home from school again Thursday. They plan to send him back Monday.
His grandfather Reggie Young tells me Community Place President Rod Jones stopped by the house Wednesday to apologize and spend some time with Khallid. Young says the family's changed their mind and plans to let Khallid return to the after school program run by Community Place.
Young still has some concerns, though. He says none of the bus monitors have ever walked his grandson to the front door, a violation of Community Place policy as we reported this is a procedure bus monitors must follow. We called Community Place for a response to this allegation Thursday. Our calls were not returned.
To learn more about what Khallid may have taken away from the ordeal we spoke with Dr. Susan Hyman, a national autism expert. Doctor Hyman works at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Memorial. She says Khallid may pick up on different things from the incident than the typical child.
"A child with autism who experiences something that's different may become fearful of some aspect of the situation so that they may generalize. So it may not be being afraid of buses, it may be being afraid of the dark," Dr. Susan Hyman.
Dr. Hyman says it's important those close to Khallid provide routine and structure for him in the following days. She also says they should discuss the van incident with him to reassure him it won't happen again.