Need help now?

Should I let my teen son move out on his own or overseas with his extended family?

Should I let my teen son move out on his own or overseas with his extended family?

Casual scribe

Should I let my teen son move out on his own or overseas with his extended family?

So my 17 year old & his stepdad do not get on. They are too different but my son does have a few intellectual disabilities, high functioning autism, attention deficit with aspergers. The arguments in the house have been awful, it has got to the stage that everyone is depressed in the house. We have a toddler and another baby on the way. His dad lives overseas with both of our families, we have no one here so we get no break or help from anyone. The only option we thought we had was to send him back to live with his dad (who conveniently has already palmed him off to his mother). He is not the best influence but they are very similar personalities. My family have offered to take him but we want his dad to raise him since he has never helped. My son doesn’t know what he wants out of life, keeps failing school but makes no effort. His Physcologist said he is deeply unhappy and I can see that. She gave an option that he can move into a share house with other teens in similar situations where there home is not a good environment for them. I have to give up my rights as his mother, I can’t even see him unless he comes to me. I am absolutely devastated, torn and don’t know what to do for the best. The thought of not having him here with me is making me sick but I know I have to come to some decision as to what’s best for him. He doesn’t know what to do. My husband thinks he will be better with his fathers family as they are able to interact with him more, he is so closed off to my family. He acts very immature and can be a joker, just goes with the flow but we try to encourage and push him to do better because we know he is so capable. He won’t get the push from them that he needs to keep pursuing something for his adult life. However if I give up my parenting rights so he can stay here but be independent, I can’t do that either. Any advise or has anyone had to do this with their teen?

Re: Should I let my teen son move out on his own or overseas with his extended family?

Hi @YJK84

That sounds like an incredibly difficult situation, and I can only imagine how scared, confused and frustrated you must feel right now. I just wanted to double check if/which state you live in, if you live in Australia. You're welcome to use the forums if you are from overseas, but it could help us give you some more in depth information about various support services Smiley Happy Being unable to contact your son sounds like a very strict and aggressive policy, I was wondering if there were any other options you were able to discuss with his therapist? Or if he's old enough, start conversations about transitioning to living out of home in a more traditional sharehouse. Have you been able to speak with him about his thoughts on the situation?

Casual scribe

Re: Should I let my teen son move out on his own or overseas with his extended family?

Hi, we live in NSW. We only received his diagnosis a few years ago and didn’t get much help from that. It’s steadily gotten worse despite the Physcology sessions and the numerous visits and phone calls to the school. I ask him all the time what his thoughts are or what he wants but he doesn’t know (or he won’t say). He barely talks to me and doesn’t speak to his stepdad at all but that goes for both of them. They are so annoyed at each other now, that neither will make an effort. I am stuck in the middle and see it from both sides but unfortunately neither recognise how I am being made to feel in this nightmare. My son is a soft and gentle person, never answers back or lashes out but it’s just the constant lying over small ridiculous things all the time. Even in a share house, I think he will struggle because of his condition, he lacks empathy and knows he is doing wrong and will just do it anyway. I am going to call her tomorrow and see if I can get more answers.
Community Manager

Re: Should I let my teen son move out on his own or overseas with his extended family?

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi @YJK84 , 


Thanks so much for getting back to us. That sounds like an incredibly challenging situation for you and your family.  It sounds like you're feeling uncertain about the psychologist's recommendations to give up your parental rights in order for your son to live independently, I think that is completely understandable, it's a really big decision.  I'm wondering if it could be worth seeking a second opinion from another health care professional who's experienced in working with people with autism and ADHD? I'm also wondering if accessing supports through the NDIS could be an option for your son? 


Autism Awareness have a range of information on accessing different supports. 


Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia) is another organisation who provide support to teens and young

adults, and they may be able to give you some advice about other support options.


They also have a great resource called Launchpad, which is a website designed for young people aged 16 and over with autism and asperger's and their parents, which is aimed specifically at helping to navigate all of the different support options available as you transition from school  to adult life. 


It sounds like an incredibly difficult situation for you to navigate, especially with the demands of a young child and another baby on  the way. Do you have a good support system for yourself?  

Moderator Hours

This forum is moderated from

09:00AM to 11:00PM

We are not a counselling or crisis service and we can't guarantee you'll get a reply, so if you need to talk now

Click here for help

The current time is Wed, 3:22 AM
(Australian Eastern time)