On Friday, July 19, 2019 Taylor Pomilla was taking the metro home in Washington D.C. with her son Andrew, who has autism, when she experienced a small act of kindness by a metro police officer. Pomilla’s story and the actions of the police officer went viral after she wrote what had occurred in a Facebook post.
After a long day of school and ABA therapy, Pomilla sometimes gets antsy and wants to get out of his seat during his 45-minute commute home. Pomilla explains that her son’s biggest behavior problem are the meltdowns that escalate, a common characteristic of a child with autism who is sometimes unable to cope and control their emotions. She writes on Facebook, “He started rolling on the floor, screaming, his shoe fell off and he flung it across the train. Then he starts the kicking, hitting, pulling my hair while everyone in rush hour stares on the train, most thinking I was a bad parent who had an out of control child, even though really he can’t help it.”
Oftentimes, especially in crowded areas like metros, bystanders stare at a child that seems to be causing a scene. This can further amplify the situation and cause more stress for the child and parent or guardian. Luckily, Pomilla eventually was calmed by the help of a police officer.
According to ABC7, a Metro Transit police officer came onto the train to help Pomilla with her son and to keep him occupied for the rest of their commute. He rode the train for the remaining 30 minutes, showing Pomilla his gadgets, his police badge, and even making silly faces on Instagram filters. Pomilla held the officer’s hand throughout their entire journey home, which prevented any further meltdowns.
This small act of kindness did not go unnoticed. Although Pomilla did not get the police officer’s name, she has received over 5 thousand shares on Facebook, retelling their story. Pomilla writes on her post, “This officer COMPLETELY went out of his way to help Andrew. He honestly restored my faith that there are good people still left in the world. To that officer, I truly can not say thank you enough for your inmesurable amount of kindness and for making Andrews day (probably his whole year).”