Most people associate autism with a lack of understanding about the world. However, that is often far from the truth. 10-year-old Alex Perez is one example of this.
On September 22 of this year, Alex Perez was riding home on a school bus with 6 of his friends. They were on the Garden Parkway in New Jersey when Alex noticed something startling. The smell of smoke. Alex could even see some smoke near the bus entrance. He quickly got the attention of the bus driver and she pulled over.
Luckily, first responders were able to get everyone off the bus before it burst into flames. Only minor injuries were sustained during the bus fire.
Alex is high sensory. “Children and adults with autism, as well as those with other developmental disabilities, may have a dysfunctional sensory system. Sometimes one or more senses are either over- or under-reactive to stimulation. Such sensory problems may be the underlying reason for such behaviors as rocking, spinning, and hand-flapping.” (ARI)
In this situation, it seems Alex’s high sensory played a role in him noticing the fire before anyone else. “Alex’s mom mentioned…because of Alex’s sensory abilities, he can pick up smells and sounds quicker than most of his peers.” (Kerry Magro)
However, Alex doesn’t consider himself a hero. The first responders who pulled him and his friends from the bus get that role. However, he is happy to be a sidekick.
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