When a 4-year-old boy with autism wandered away from home, his mother got more than she bargained for when police returned him.

Kaava Watson, 31, said her son, Walter, disappeared last Thursday evening when she went to answer the telephone.

Watson told KETV that she went to look for the boy — who has a history of wandering — and called police when she couldn’t find him near their Omaha, Neb. home.

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Meanwhile, however, 911 dispatchers received a separate report of an unaccompanied child on a nearby street.

When police officers brought Walter back home, they issued a citation to Watson on suspicion of child neglect.

“We need to be aware of the challenges and aspects (that) people with autism face, and how to deal with them. I don’t feel being issued a ticket helped me,” Watson told KETV.

The citation is a misdemeanor that carries a possible penalty of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, reports WOWT.

Research suggests that about half of children with autism have a tendency to wander and the behavior is most common around age 4.