Parent has big concerns after son with autism runs from school in East Harlem

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Tim Fleischer reports on a parent's concerns after her son with autism ran away from a school in East Harlem.

A mother is outraged after her son with special needs wandered out of his school in Upper Manhattan and traveled for blocks before someone noticed something was wrong.

Back home safe and sound, 5-year old Paris Jay Washington is looking forward to Christmas -- but not before his mother, Tamika Wilson, got the scare of her life.

"We don't know how long he was missing, where he was at, he could have been anywhere," Wilson said.

Monday morning, Wilson received a call from school officials that Paris, who has autism and barely communicates, had run from his school, The Mosaic Preparatory Academy. He was on the playground with other kindergarten students at recess around 10:30 in the morning.

"It's just a very dangerous situation," Wilson said. "I feel they were very negligent with the supervision that they have for my child."

Paris is thought to have headed up Park Avenue at East 111th Street. It is unclear if someone was chasing after him. His mother was told that around East 115th Street and Park Avenue a cab driver noticed Paris and called police.

"He could have gotten hit by a car as he crossed a street. Everything," Wilson said. "You see how many buildings there are. Anybody could have just snatched him."

Department of Education officials issued a statement, saying:

"The school followed protocol and the student was quickly and safely found nearby. Safety always comes first and we will ensure appropriate supports are provided to the family."

Wilson also pointed out that school officials did not alert her until after Paris was brought back to the school.

Still worried about her son, Wilson has talked to an attorney.

"We will let him help us find another school for him," she said. "And also come and speak with the principal about what happened and look at the cameras and stuff."

Now she must figure out how to keep young Paris safe as he continues kindergarten.

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educationautismschoolEast HarlemManhattanNew York City
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