RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Robert attends the Faison School for Autism in Richmond. His teachers and many of the parents of his classmates joined in the search. Friday, we got their reaction right after news broke that Robert was found safe.
Teachers and other parents at the Faison School of Autism have worried all week about Robert.
"All of the parents here, that's their worst fear. That can happen. A child can run away and elope. That's something every one of these parents live with every day," said Dr. Kathy Matthews with the Faison School Of Autism.
But those fears quickly turned to relief and jubilation when news broke that Robert was found alive and well.
"We were able to quickly make an announcement at the school to let the rest of the staff know and you could literally hear everyone scream. Just so excited that he's found and he's okay," Matthews said.
"At a certain point you start to get discouraged and to hear this news before the bad weather comes in is the best thing that could happen," said Ashlea Krouse with the Faison School Of Autism.
Much has been made about Robert's autism and his inability to speak. His teachers say his autism actually may have helped him. He probably spent the week exploring the dense woods of the North Anna Battlefield Park.
"My guess is he didn't panic. He didn't think, 'gosh I'm alone, I'm lost, no one here is helping me' because of his autism," Matthews explained.
Teachers say many kids with autism like structure in their lives. They say Robert may be happy to be back at school - and they're all relieved he'll be back too.
"I'm just glad it's all over and hopefully he'll be home soon," Krouse said.