Imagine being held hostage for six days in an underground bunker, your captor clearly someone who is unstable. Now picture you're only five years old with Asperger's Syndrome. That was the horrific reality this past week for a Midland, Alabama boy named Ethan. Jimmy Lee Dykes grabbed Ethan off a school bus after shooting and killing his bus driver.
When authorities rescued Ethan Monday they said he appeared to be unharmed, but his family is worried about the pain that may not be visible on the outside.
"Research tells us that trauma affects us on so many different levels," said Panama City licensed mental health counselor Kenneth Finch.
Finch told NewsChannel 7 professional counseling for Ethan is a must.
"The big word would be helping him through life understand who he is versus what happened," Finch said.
Without it Finch warned Ethan could succumb to post traumatic stress disorder or P.T.S.D., and he said the road to recovery won't occur overnight.
"It's hard to know immediately and it will probably be days, months, maybe even years to really understand fully the full effect."