When a video clip of a boy dashing out onto the roads made its rounds on social media this week, many netizens were quick to blame his parents for negligence.
In the dashcam footage, a man was seen running after the child, scooping him up in his arms and carrying him back to safety on Sunday (Aug 9) night.
With scarce information shared in the Facebook posts, the man who saved the boy was mistaken for his father.
However, the child's mum has revealed what happened that day.
In a Facebook post on Aug 10, she shared that her son had slipped out of their home in Pasir Ris as the handyman working on the CCTV had left the gate open.
Realising that her son was missing, the worried mum immediately ran out to look for him at the nearby pond.
However, the boy had headed in the opposite direction and later dashed onto a road along Pasir Ris Drive 1.
"He has no sense of danger as he is a child [with special needs]," she wrote.
Fortunately, a vehicle travelling along the left lane noticed the boy and managed to slow down. Its dashcam also captured the moment of the child running on the road as cars moved past him in the next lane.
Seconds later, a man was seen rescuing the child.
When her search at the pond turned out futile, the mum made a U-turn and saw that a Malay couple had saved her son.
"To the couple who saved his life, please come forward. I was too shocked and could not say anything much earlier besides 'May Allah bless you both'," she said in the post which has since been taken down.
The man, later identified as Facebook user Sufian SooFee Solis, wrote in a post after the incident: "Eventful end to National Day, didn't know I could run that fast but what's more important the boy is safe.
"Be vigilant drivers and riders."
AsiaOne has reached out to both parties for more information.
Tips to keep a wandering child safe
In recent years, children with special needs such as those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have been reported to have gone missing for hours, and sometimes even days on end despite their parents' best efforts to keep an eye on them.
According to an article by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, nearly half of children with ASD try to wander or run off even when there's an adult supervising them.
Some reasons for the children's behaviour include avoiding something in the environment such as noise, going to a favourite place such as the park, seeking a sensory stimulus such as water.
To keep a child with ASD safe, parents can try the following tips:
- Dress your child in bright, distinctive clothing when you go out, it will help you and other people spot your child if he wanders off
- Teach your child about car and road safety, stranger danger, fire safety and water safety
- Let your child wear an identification tag or bracelet that has your contact details and a statement that your child has special needs