Lost Autistic Boy Saved By Ozzy Osbourne's Music

joshua robbJoshua Robb, an 8-year-old autistic boy from southern California, slipped through the bars of a metal gate on his school's playground Monday morning and ran off into the woods. He was lost in the forest for about 24 hours while search parties that included volunteers, search professionals, and bloodhounds looked for him before he was found Tuesday afternoon. Joshua is severely autistic and police, as well as his parents and autism experts, were thoughtful in their approach to finding the little boy. Knowing that loud noises, helicopters, and search lights would frighten Joshua, they had to use a different approach.

So they fired up a stereo system and blasted Ozzy Osbourne tunes into the woods.


Apparently, Joshua loves Ozzy's heavy metal music. The former Black Sabbath lead singer must have a way with kids, because Joshua, after spending a harrowing night alone in the woods, was attracted to the music. Searchers also used recordings of Josh's dad's voice and country music to try and lure back the lost boy. And it worked.

What a welcome noise those familiar sounds must have been to the young guy after spending a night and day alone, lost, and in the forest near the San Bernardino mountains. He also endured a strong lightning storm Monday night as well as torrential downpours by himself. The weather was so bad that night that the search and rescue crews were held off.

But once Tuesday morning came around, they knew what they had to do -- break out the Ozzy CDs. The music and recordings made him feel safe and comforted, and Joshua came out of his hiding place. He was dehydrated and tired, but generally in good shape.

Unfortunately, there's not an entirely happy ending. Josh was found, yes, but where he's going now is up for debate. He was taken away from his parents after it was discovered that they had been tying him to a pole (which Dad says is the only way they could restrain him) and given to his teacher to be under her care.

Josh's dad says that he ran away because he was just looking for his parents, whom he deeply misses. We'll never know why exactly Josh ran away, but we can be grateful he was found, and hope that he finds a loving place to live (with whomever that might be) ... and that music continues to make him feel "home."

What do you think?

Photo via ABCNews.com

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