Children with Autism Call 911, Save Mom

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5-year-old Tyler Semple lives with autism and ADHD, and his three-year-old sister, Annabella, also has autism. But that hasn’t stopped these two from becoming heroes in their own right. When their mother collapsed on the floor of their home in Thurrock, Essex, on September 21, they responded to the situation perfectly.

“I was home just putting some shopping away, which was the last thing I remember,” says Charley-Anne Semple, the children’s mother. “What I’ve been able to piece together and have been told by the paramedics is I was lying on the floor unconscious. Tyler took my phone. He knows the pin code; he’s very clever with technology.”
Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Tyler called 999 and, despite having severe difficulties holding a conversation because of his disorders, he stayed on the phone for several minutes, talking to emergency personnel about the situation.

“He was on the phone for a good 10 minutes, which is extremely difficult and quite surprising for Tyler as he doesn’t hold conversation very well,” says Semple. “He has speech therapy. He’s verbal, but keeping interest in conversation, staying on topic, is difficult.”
Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Tyler told the operator he needed an ambulance and recited the address to the family’s home, where they’ve only lived for about four months.

“He was giving them the phonetic postcode – Romeo, Mike…” explains Semple. “He was also giving her directions.”
Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

A little bit of Tyler’s unique personality did leak into the call, however. Semple says her son told the operator that his mom was dead and that she had “eaten a poisoned apple from an ugly old witch.”
Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

“We haven’t watched Snow White recently and I haven’t been eating apples so I don’t know where that came from,” says Semple. “It must have sounded like a hoax call.”

The children were instructed to go next door and try to find an adult to help, which they promptly did. Medical professionals showed up a short while later and revived Mrs. Semple, who is now resting and doing well. The incident appears to have been caused by a preexisting medical condition.
Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

A spokesperson from East of England Ambulance Service says the children, particularly Tyler, were brave and calm in a difficult situation. They were later presented with an award for bravery from the National Autistic Society.

Semple says they’re both very happy with their awards, and she’s proud that they so clearly demonstrated that they’re capable of more than people generally give them credit for.
Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

Photo: Facebook/Charley-Anne Semple

“I think what’s nice and what I’m really trying to push is to celebrate how fantastic I think the children did on the day and to raise autism in a positive light,” she says. “It’s nice to celebrate them.”

Thank you, Tyler and Annabella, for your bravery and strength during this difficult experience. And congratulations on your awards! They are well deserved!

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