missing teen DeKalb atlanta

Disabled Atlanta Teen Reported Missing In DeKalb County

Shawn Ward takes medication several times a day for a condition called fragile X syndrome.

A disabled 17-year-old boy has gone missing in Atlanta’s DeKalb County. The nonverbal teen, whose name is Shawn Ward, takes medication regularly for his condition; authorities in the area say that locating him is high priority.

DeKalb police, as reported by Fox 5 Atlanta, said that Ward was last seen on Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. near the 1000 block of North Hairston Road in Decatur. 

Ward is around 5 feet tall and weighs 134 pounds, according to his family. The clothes he was last seen wearing were a black sweatshirt that read “Billion Status” on the front of it, gray sweatpants, and a pair of gold Nike sneakers with no laces.

Ward is required to take medication several times a day because he was diagnosed with fragile X syndrome, or FXS. Despite being 17, he has the IQ of a child between the ages of 7 and 9. 

The DeKalb Police Department reiterated important information on its Facebook page and again requested help in locating the boy. The department wrote, “Help us find Shawn Ward, 17, who was last seen 1/18 at his home near 1000 N. Hairston Rd in Stone Mountain. He’s 5ft, 134 Ibs. w/ brown eyes & black hair. He was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt with ‘Billionaire Status’ on the front, gray sweatpants, & Nike sneakers with no laces. If you see him call 911 or SVU at 770-724-7710. #WeAreDKPD.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FXS is a genetic disorder that causes protein deficiencies in children. While boys and girls can develop FXS, it tends to be more severe in boys. Symptoms include not sitting, walking, or talking at the same time as other children the same age, learning disabilities, and social and behavioral problems.

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