Asperger's Boy Lived in NY Subway 11 Days
Runaway vanished underground
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 25, 2009 3:00 AM CST
A runaway 13-year-old with Asperger's syndrome lived on potato chips and jelly rolls from newsstands.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – A young boy with Asperger's syndrome lived on newsstand potato chips, jelly rolls, and bottled water for 11 days riding the trains of the New York City subway system. Francisco Hernandez Jr, 13, rode trains to the end of the line, then climbed back on another no matter where they went. He spent much of the time sleeping, his head resting on his book bag. "At some point I just stopped feeling anything,” he told the New York Times.

Hernandez vanished after he skipped a school assignment and feared recriminations from his parents. He also yanked the battery from his cell phone. Social interaction and coping with stress is difficult for him because of his syndrome, which is a form of autism. His frantic parents and police searched for days until he was spotted by a transit cop. No one spoke to him while he was on the run. “Nobody really cares about the world and about people," he said.