Local mother of boy with autism develops safety program adopted by 2 police departments

“The scary part honestly I didn’t know he was gone,” said Liz Selig.

Selig’s 7-year-old son with autism, Jack, had been gone for almost 30 minutes.

“At the time he could just say his name is Jack,” she said.

Jack had walked two blocks to the neighborhood swimming pool.

“A life guard was right there and she figured out pretty quickly that there was a communication barrier,” Selig said.

“We got a call that there was a child over there that wasn’t able to communicate they knew he was having some type of distress but they weren’t sure what,” said Bellaire Police Chief Byron Holloway.

The police officer who made the call has a child with Down Syndrome.

“And he worked with him and was able to drive around in the neighborhood until they located the child’s house,” the Police Chief said.

Selig wanted to turn her terrifying ordeal into a positive.

She learned about a nationwide database for children with autism called Take Me Home.

She has been in contact with a number of police departments to localize the database to include anyone with issues that could prevent them from saying where they live.

“Then we push all that information out immediately we already have a current picture we already have all the statistics,” said Holloway.

West University police have also implemented a program.

“If somebody gets lost and doesn’t know where they are this will help  us find them and help us return them to their loved ones and their homes,’ said West University Police Sergeant Phil Clark.

“Knowing I’m making a difference in the world is awesome,” said Selig.