Behavioral expert discusses challenges of finding missing special needs children

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PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WDBJ7) -- "He's totally safe and fine," Jessica Fox said as she relayed the news that her son, Andrew Yarboro was coming home alive.

Yarboro, 9, wandered away from his home Tuesday evening.

Hundreds of volunteers joined in on the search - singing nursery rhymes and reciting the "ABC"s.

Andrew has autism and doesn't talk.

His mother believes he was scared by search lights; making the overnight search more intense. "When they get scared or they're in a situation that they don't understand, that first impulse is to make a run for it," explained behavioral expert, Denise Doyle with Horizon Behavioral Health.

She says learning how to approach someone with special needs is important, especially when they're in distress. "The hard part is everybody is going to be different," she said, pointing to the importance of learning about those in your community who have special needs.

And just like every child, Doyle says it takes a village. "Families need as much support as they can get. It's important that they know they're not in this on their own."

For more information on Horizon, visit: https://www.horizonbh.org/