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VivoCity SafeEntry officer takes care of teen with autism who got separated from helper at Punggol MRT

The officer, Wei Xiang, called the boy’s school to inform them of his whereabouts and stayed with the 17-year old, buying him a meal while waiting for his mum to arrive

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Singapore—A grateful mother took to social media to praise a VivoCity SafeEntry officer for taking care of her son, who has autism, when the boy inadvertently got separated from their helper at the train station.

Not only did the SafeEntry officer, Wei Xiang, call the boy’s school to inform them of his whereabouts, he also stayed with 17-year old David until his mum, Clara, arrived with the police and made sure David’s iPad had WiFi. Wei Xiang even bought David noodles with the safety officer’s own money because he guessed that he was hungry.

Clara’s story of how Wei Xiang found David was posted on the Friends of ASD Families Facebook page on Tuesday (Oct 6), where it has been shared over 720 times.

Recently my son David went missing on his way to school but eventually returned to safety, thanks to a safe entry…

Posted by Friends of ASD Families on Tuesday, 6 October 2020

She wrote that David and their helper had been on their way to school, intending to take the train at the Punggol MRT station. While the helper managed to enter the train, the door began to close even while David was still outside, so the boy let go of the helper’s hand “instinctively.”

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The helper “frantically gestured” for the boy to stay put until she could return but was no longer there when she came back. She assumed that he had gone ahead to school, since he knows how to get there, and proceeded to the next station where they change trains. However, David was not there. The helper then asked the MRT staff for assistance.

As Clara, back home, was filing a police report, she was telephoned by David’s school. The grateful mum writes, “Apparently a teacher had received a call from a member of the public that David was at Vivocity level B2, near Toastbox.”

Fortunately, Wei Xiang, who had just begun the day’s duties, found David “seated on a chair pulling at the other safe entry officer to look at his iPad.” He then checked David’s lanyard but there was no contact information there.

But, as he had ascertained that David went to the Eden school from his uniform, he found the school’s number and called them.

Many people would have perhaps stopped at contacting the school, but Wei Xiang did much more than this bare minimum to make sure David was taken care of.

Clara wrote, “Wei Xiang went the extra mile by keeping David with him while waiting for help to arrive. When David seemed restless and wanted to move off, he asked David to sit and wait. He figured that David wanted help with his iPad and helped him get connected to the wifi.”

Wei Xiang also surmised that the boy was hungry and googled images of food for David to choose from so that he could buy him a meal.

“When David pointed to the noodles, Wei Xiang even bought David the noodles with his own money! He stayed with David till we arrived with the police,” the mum continued.

Perhaps Wei Chang’s kindness drove Clara to thank him publicly through the post.

“I barely had a chance to thank Wei Xiang properly as the police was taking down my statement to close the case. I only managed to call him afterwards to tell him how grateful I was and to let him know what a difference he had made! Wei Xiang was truly remarkable in his persistence in helping a youth who couldn’t communicate well! What a wonderful world it would be if more people have such a heart of gold!”

Clara then appealed to the public to “pause a little and reach out” if they encounter a person who behaves differently or seems to have difficulty in complying with safety measures, as they may be someone like her son, who needs extra help. —/TISG

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