Alex Perez, a ten-year-old boy with autism saved the day on his way home from Mount Carmel Guild Academy in West Orange, New Jersey. On September 22, 2016, Perez’s school bus was driving along the Garden State Parkway when he suddenly smelled smoke. Upon realizing what was happening, Perez yelled to notify the bus driver immediately.


In an interview with CBS, Perez shared, “I smelled it and I looked toward the front and saw smoke coming from the entrance.” Once the bus driver was notified, he pulled over and first responders came to assess the scene right away. There were no major injuries in this incident.

Perez was reluctant to call himself a hero, but we sure do see him as one. Perez shared with CBS that, “I was like the second hero,” he said. “I was like the sidekick, I guess.”

Alex Perez, 10

Alex Perez, 10

In an interview with CBS, Michelle Perez, Perez’s mother said, “He’s highly sensory, so he can pick up smells, sounds really quick,” which she believed may have been a factor in his heroism. Individuals with autism tend to have highly keen senses, which may have contributed to why Perez was able to smell the smoke before the fire actually started.

As a result of this incident, Perez’s parents are reluctant to send him on a school bus. In an interview with CBS, Perez’s mother said, “I’m gonna want to know when he gets to school, I’m gonna want to call now when he gets to school to know he’s OK.”

To watch the full report on this story, click here

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