Special needs group pays tribute to 11yo Sydney boy with autism killed by train after escaping from respite care

bunch of flower lying on a cement step

A disability care service provider says it is cooperating with a police investigation into the death of a young boy with severe autism who was hit and killed by a train in Sydney's south.

The 11-year-old boy died after he escaped from a respite care facility at Oatley just after 7:00pm yesterday.

His carers alerted authorities and a police search was set up involving Polair and the dog squad.

The boy's body was found at the Oatley train station two hours later.

Police confirmed on Monday morning that the child, who was non-verbal, was hit by a train.

Civic Disability Services Limited confirmed the child was from its short-term accommodation facility for children and young people.

It said family members had been informed of the details, but due to the sensitive nature, and out of respect for the family, it would be inappropriate to release any more details.

"This is a tragic and distressing incident and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to the child's family", Civic CEO Annie Doyle said.

"Counselling and assistance services have been made available to our staff and others who have been affected."

The Sydney Friendship Circle, a support group for families of children with special needs, posted tributes to the 11-year-old on social media, saying he was a treasured son, grandson, brother and friend.

"Today the world lost a beautiful angel. As we try to process this tremendous loss, your beautiful life flashes in front of us," the post read.

"We are going to miss your mischievous smile, the joy in your eyes, your curiosity about the smallest creation and your zest for life. We will miss you so much."

Front entrance of train station at Oatley in Sydney's south. Bunch of orange lillies on concrete seat in foreground.
Photo: The boy was found dead at Oatley station two hours after he left the care facility. (ABC News: Rachel Hayter)


The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) said it was unable to comment on the circumstances of the boy's death, as the matter was being investigated by police.

"The death of any child is a tragedy," a FACS spokesman said in a statement.

"The staff of the Department of Family and Community Services were deeply saddened to hear of the death of an 11-year-old boy yesterday and would like to extend their sympathies to his family," it said.

NSW state MP for Oatley Mark Coure offered his condolences to the boy's family, describing the incident as "just heartbreaking".

"My heart goes out to the family, friends and carer this morning," he said in a statement to the ABC.

"I want to thank the emergency services, and all the locals who last night helped to search for this little boy.

"As a father, I can only imagine the grief of the family and extend my deepest sympathies for their unimaginable loss.

"I would encourage anyone with any information regarding this ongoing investigation, to please contact the police."

Close up of bunch of flowers with card saying "rest in peace, we pray for you and your family"
Photo: Members of the public have offered prayers
for the boy's family. (ABC News: Rachel Hayter)

 


NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said his thoughts were with the family and he offered his "sincere condolences".

"This is a tragic circumstance for the local community and all those involved, including our staff at Sydney Trains," he said in a statement.

"An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the child's death, and police are appealing to anyone with information to contact St George Police or Crime Stoppers."

from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-23/child-with-autism-killed-by-train-...

 


NSW boy hit by train had a 'zest for life'

The tragic death of a young autistic boy hit by a train in Sydney has been described as 'distressing' by a disability care service provider.

Dominica Sanda

An 11-year-old severely autistic boy fatally struck by a train in Sydney's south after running away from his carer has been described as a "beautiful angel".

NSW Police mounted a large search involving the dog unit and Polair after he ran away at Oatley shops after 7pm on Sunday.

The boy, who was non-verbal, had been staying at a respite centre.

He was found dead at Oatley train station about two hours after disappearing.

Civic Disability Services Limited confirmed the boy was in its care at a short-term accommodation facility when the incident happened.

The disability care service provider released a statement on Monday describing the boy's death as "tragic and distressing".

Family members have been informed and Civic is co-operating with a police investigation.

Counselling has been made available to Civic staff and others who have been affected.

"This is a tragic and distressing incident and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to the child's family," chief executive Annie Doyle said.

Sydney Friendship Circle, a charity for families of children with special needs, on Sunday night desperately pleaded with the public on Facebook to find the boy.

Hours later the group shared the heartbreaking news about his death.

They described him as a "treasured son, grandson, brother and friend".

"Today the world lost a beautiful angel. As we try to process this tremendous loss, your beautiful life flashes in front of us," the group posted on social media on Monday.

"We are going to miss your mischievous smile, the joy in your eyes, your curiosity about the smallest creation and your zest for life."

Flowers and tributes for the young boy were placed at Oatley station on Monday.

State Oatley MP Mark Coure said the incident was "just heartbreaking".

"My heart goes out to the family, friends and carer this morning of an 11 year old boy who last night was found dead at Oatley Train Station," Mr Coure wrote on Facebook on Monday.

"As a father, I can only imagine the grief of the family and extend my deepest sympathies for their unimaginable loss."

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the boy to contact them.

from http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/boy-10-found-dead-at-sydne...


'Zest for life': Boy, 11, dies after being hit by a train in Sydney's south

By Rachel Clun


Tributes are flowing for a "treasured" 11-year-old boy, who died after he was hit by a train in Sydney's south on Sunday night.

The boy with severe autism, who was non-verbal and non-responsive, left a respite care facility on Oatley Parade by himself about 7.15pm, sparking an extensive search by police and members of the community.

Just before 9.30pm police confirmed the boy was found dead at Oatley station.

Sydney Friendship Circle, a group for families of people with special needs, said the boy, named Alex, was a “treasured son, grandson, brother and friend”.

“Today the world lost a beautiful angel. As we try to process this tremendous loss, your beautiful life flashes in front of us.

“Alex we are going to miss your mischievous smile, the joy in your eyes, your curiosity about the smallest creation and your zest for life. We will miss you so much.”

NSW member for Oatley Mark Coure said the boy's death was "just heartbreaking".

"As a father, I can only imagine the grief of the family and extend my deepest sympathies for their unimaginable loss," he said.

"I want to thank the emergency services, and all the locals who last night helped to search for this little boy."

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said his thoughts were with the family of the boy.

"This is a tragic circumstance for the local community and all those involved, including our staff at Sydney Trains," he said.

Care facility assisting police

The boy had been staying at a Civic Disability Services short-term accommodation facility for children and young people when he went missing, chief executive Annie Doyle said.

"This is a tragic and distressing incident and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to the child’s family," Ms Doyle said.

"Counselling and assistance services have been made available to our staff and others who have been affected."

Civic said the boy's family had been informed of the details surrounding the incident, and out of respect for the family would not publicly release any more information.

"The matter is the subject of a police investigation and Civic will continue to co-operate and provide whatever assistance possible," a Civic spokeswoman said.

Wandering common among children with autism: expert

Erika Gleeson, founder of Autism Swim and senior behaviour specialist, said more than 50 per cent of children with autism spectrum disorder wander.

"Many families don’t even realise that their child would be considered high risk and, even if they did, research tells us only 50 per cent have been given advice or help in terms of that," she said.

Ms Gleeson said wandering - also referred to as elopement or absconding - can be due to the child running away from something they find adverse, seeking something they want, curiosity, or physiological factors.

"I know of many families where the child has removed the fly screen on their bedroom [window] and gotten out, and that was purely because they were intrigued or interested in something," she said.

"They can be little escape artists sometimes, and therefore it’s not to do with the quality of parenting; it's just an unfortunate situation."

Positive behaviour support, involving assessment and training for the wandering individual, can help prevent these issues, Ms Gleeson said.

Autism Swim, the peak body for wandering prevention in Australia, has also published a guide on what to do if you find a child with autism who has wandered off.

A police spokesman said the circumstances surrounding the boy's death remained unclear, and an investigation was continuing.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to contact St George Police or Crime Stoppers.

A report will be prepared for the coroner.

from https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/boy-11-dies-after-being-hit-by-a-tra...


 

Boy, 11, found dead at train station after running away from carer

A “BEAUTIFUL” little boy with severe autism was fatally hit by a train in Oatley on Sunday night while in the care of a disability respite service.

Alex Raichman, 11, was staying with Civic Disability Services over the weekend while his family were on what is understood to be a planned trip to Victoria.

On Sunday night, the boy that friends described as having “left a lasting impression”, was with a carer at shops on Oatley Parade, near the respite facility, when he ran away.


Alex Raichman was found deceased at Oatley train station on Sunday.

Police, including PolAir and the dog squad, quickly launched a desperate search for him, but the child was found dead at Oatley train station about 9.30pm.

A spokeswoman for NSW Police last night said trains were not stopped because there was no information to say he was in the train lines’ vicinity.

“There were no reported sightings of a person entering the rail corridor,” she said.


It is understood Alex was left in care by his family who departed on a planned trip.

Civic Disability Services CEO Annie Doyle said that the organisation was co-operating with police as they investigate the death.

“This is a tragic and distressing incident and our deepest sympathies and thoughts go out to the child’s family. Counselling and assistance services have been made available our staff and others who have been affected,” Ms Doyle said yesterday.


The body was found at Oatley Train Station. Picture: Dean Asher

Sydney Friendship Circle, the NSW branch of a worldwide Jewish charity that promotes friendship between volunteers and people with special needs, yesterday posted a tribute to Alex on Facebook.

“Alex was a treasured son, grandson, brother and friend. Today the world lost a beautiful angel. As we try to process this tremendous loss, your beautiful life flashes in front of us. Alex we are going to miss your mischievous smile, the joy in your eyes, your curiosity about the smallest creation and your zest for life. We will miss you so much,” read the emotional piece.


Police forensic officers at the boy’s home. Picture: Dean Asher

Tributes in the form of flowers and cards have been laid at the foot of The Oatley Pde exit to Oatley train station throughout the day, with someone leaving a number of blank notecards and a pen for future tributes to be made.

Prior to the tragic news’ confirmation, the organisation had asked local residents to look for him. A report will now be prepared for the Coroner.


Police conduct an investigation into the death of the 11-year-old boy. Picture: Dean Asher


A note left in tribute to the boy killed at Oatley train station. Picture: Tim Pascoe


Floral tributes have been left for the boy. Photo: Tim Pascoe

from https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/boy-11-found-dead-at-train-st...