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17 yo ASD son running away

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17 yo ASD son running away

We have a 17yo ASD son who has run away with his girlfriend. She is a compulsive lier and has isolated him from all his previous friends by making up lies about them all and now us because we won't let her into our house. She has repeatedly stolen money from her own family and persuaded my son to do the same ( to buy her jewellery etc.). Due to his ASD he doesn't have the capacity to adequately evaluate her lies or to organise and look after himself however the police are saying they can't do anything unless he is in immediate harm.
We are extremely worried about the future with this person in his life but can't seem to do anything about it.

Prolific scribe

Re: 17 yo ASD son running away

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Dear @Boblistar ,


It must be so incredibly difficult and stressful to have to be faced with this situation. It sounds like you have tried to reach out to people but both your hands and their hands are tied. It is absolutely understandable that you would be worried, especially if you son is very vulnerable at this time.


I'm wondering whether your son is enrolled in a school? If so, perhaps you can gain supports through school support services?


I read that you have been in touch with the police in the past. Were you ever directed to the Police Youth Forces? These are specially trained police personnel who work with at-risk youth. It may be worth while to contact the Police Assistance Line to get some more information as to whether you can get support from Youth Forces. The Police Assistance Line number is 1800 725 631


Another option is to see if 1800RESPECT can provide you with some guidance. Seeing this situation is largely based on control within a relationship, 1800RESPECT may be able to provide you with some support as to what you can do. 


I acknowledge this is a lot to take in and digest. Please remember your own health and wellbeing at this stressful time. There are services that you can reach out to such as carer gateway


We look forward to hearing how you go.

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: 17 yo ASD son running away

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Hi Dear @Boblistar ,

So sorry to hear what you're going through. We have a 19 year old son and 17 year old daughter and they keep us on our toes. 

Our kids haven't moved out and actually haven't been very active in the dating scene. However, my friend's daughter moved out, back with dad and now she and the boyfriend are back at their place with a baby on the way. You probably didn't want to hear that I guess that's also a concern with teenage relationships. So much stress and hard to know where to turn. 

Through everything we've been through as a family, I think the great challenge is trying to keep the lines of communication open with teens. I am often trying to talk to our daughter through a closed door and I've had to be resourceful trying to connect with her. I don't know whether you have a family pet your son might be missing, but perhaps you could text through a photo. Or maybe just a text to say hi. I remember when I was young how connected you can become with your boyfriend/girlfriend and it's us against the world and it can be hard to compete with that as a parent. Hopefully, you've laid enough groundwork for that to filter through and remind you of what you mean to him. When I've been worried about my daughter, there have been times where I haven't been able to reach her but something kickstarted in her and she pulled back of her own accord. That isn't always the case. The other thing is if there are some of his friends you might run into or social group, sport etc where you might be about to keep in touch via a third party. That said, maybe there's a family member who could approach him.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,