Nine-year-old Kyson Baler was having a very, very bad day.
The special needs boy doesn’t like change of any kind. It terrifies him. And on this day, he was getting one heck of a dose, in the form of a new therapist.
Kyson ran out the door of the Idaho disability center where he receives treatment five days a week, and had a meltdown outside. Across the street, Rigby Police Officer Chris Scott pulled over his cruiser and came to sit next to the distraught child.
A photo of that gentle encounter has gone viral after Kyson’s mom, Jessica Baler, posted it on the department’s Facebook page.
“It’s been seen in Ireland, Egypt, the United Kingdom, all over the U.S.,” Jessica told InsideEdition.com Thursday. “I’ve had friend requests from all over the world.
“It’s just reassuring to have a positive moment,” she said.
Kyson is an undiagnosed special needs kid. He doesn’t talk. His mom said he has undergone many tests, but doctors have not been able to give a name to his affliction.
“He does not do well with change,” his mother said. “He struggles with any kind of transition."
Getting a new therapist was a huge transition for Kyson, and it rocked his small world.
Officer Scott “just sat down on the ground with Kyson and comforted him,” the boy’s grateful mom said. Kyson loves police officers. He wears a duty belt, complete with a plastic gun, everywhere he goes.
He pointed at a patch on Scott’s uniform. The officer had a coin with the same insignia and gave it to the child. "He said, 'When you’re ready, we will walk back in,'" Jessica recounted.
That seemed OK with Kyson, and the two went back inside. His new therapist had taken a photo of the pair and sent it to Kyson’s mother.
“The officer wasn’t even aware that the picture was taken," Baler said. "I didn’t know who he was.”
But after she posted the image on the department’s Facebook site, it seems everyone now knows him and Kyson.
Jessica and Kyson recently met Officer Scott and she was able to thank him in person for his kindness to her son.
“He’s absolutely in shock that the photo has gone as far as it has,” Jessica recounted from their meeting. “It touched his heart. It meant a lot to him that he was able to help.
“He was glad that he could represent that police officers are good guys,” she said.
Kyson has been tested for many things, including autism. His parents even took him to Salt Lake City, trying to find a hospital that could identify what steals his speech and impedes his mental and physical development.
His mother said that unlike some children with autism, “He’s very loving," adding, “He constantly makes eye contact.”
He knows sign language, but his motor skill deficiencies make it hard for him to form words with his hands.
The mother first noticed there was something different about her son when he was 12 months old.
“He never babbled as a baby,” she said. “He never said ‘mama’ or ‘dada.’ Tyson didn’t crawl until he was over a year old. He didn’t walk until he was 20 months old.”
She doubts he will ever live independently.
“I left my job so that I could take care of him. I talk to his therapist every day. I work with Kyson full time,” she said.
“My goal for him is to live a happy, healthy life.”