My autistic son will not leave the house/go outside - can anyone help? — Scope | Disability forum
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My autistic son will not leave the house/go outside - can anyone help?

Eloner Community member Posts: 2 Listener
edited April 2019 in Autism and neurodiversity
Can anyone help. I have an autistic 20 year old son. He has always been very anxious and we have strategies and medication in place to help him. He hasn't been to school since he was 13 years old. He will not leave the house, he would be happy to never leave and just use his computer etc. I feel this is unhealthy. He likes swimming, playing ball, walking , etc but now can't access anything out of the home . He hates being away from me, and just refuses to do anything. I want him to get to the stage of being able to cope without me, be a little independent. I am an older parent and I am terrified something happens to me how will he cope. I have had help from O/T's, PA's etc but nobody can get him to leave the house. I just don't know what to do. I do not want him to go into residential as it would be cruel as he would be lost. Don't get me wrong, if he wanted to I would be so happy for him. I know he is happy staying home, but he can't even go into the garden now. I have spent the last seven years in the house with him as I can't leave him alone,, life is passing us by and it is so sad because there's so much out there to enjoy. My son is verbal, friendly, a big strapping 6' 1'' young man. He's terrified of children and babies, so that is another reason he doesn't go out, we also cannot have anything with youngsters on the tv. His dad is in poor health, so I am alone most of the time with my son as his full time carer. I love him so much, I just want to help him have a nice life and not to worry about me. I am at a loss as what to do. 


  • Liam_Alumni
    Liam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,101 Pioneering
    Hi @Eloner,

    Welcome to Scope's online community! It's great to have you on board.

    I've moved your post into our Ask an ASD advisor category, where members of our community, along with our dedicated advisor, may be able to help.

    @VioletFenn, do you have any ideas?
  • VioletFenn
    VioletFenn Community member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Hi @Eloner (and thanks for the tag, @LiamO_Dell )

    Gosh, what a difficult situation you're in and bless your heart for being so determined to help your boy. Can I ask what other support (if any) you have - does he see the GP for medication, has he been through the CAMHS system at all?

    The one thing I always advise people is to check out your local ASD support group, because they really are always the font of knowledge re what kind of help you might be able to access. And if nothing else, they might be able to offer you some support for yourself. Google 'asd support group' and your area - or let us know whereabouts you are and I'll try to find some info for you. 

    Wanting your son to have his best life possible is all anyone can aim for and you're clearly doing everything you can. He's very lucky to have you as his mum :) 

    ASD adviser, Scope
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 740 Listener
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  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Eloner how are you and your son getting on?
    Senior online community officer
  • jan_dale99
    jan_dale99 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi Eloner I have just registered on this site after reading your entry about your son. I cannot believe the similarities to our stories! My son is 20 and gave up school(due to anxiety)at same age. We have struggled ever since to help him as he wouldnt leave the house for years - But have faith it will happen albeit Very very slowly. Our son still has anxiety but manages to go out most weeks (once only) but it has been a long road to get this far! I commend you for being there for him and  I agree residential would be crushing for our sons. Ifnore people who criticise you - they dont walk in our shoes! I hope you get to read this as I dont want you to give up on him as hard as it is every day. Take care and look after yourself too. p.s. I had to give up my job years ago to support my son.
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community, @jan_dale99!

    I hope you get to chat with @Eloner. You may also be interested in our other ASD-related discussions, and our parents and carers category.
  • jobrooks2116
    jobrooks2116 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    My son is 17 and has been out of school since he was 11. He is much the same as your sons, won't take medication, wont take to anyone or except any support from anyone. so we are very alone and also very worried about the future. 
  • jolinda
    jolinda Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi My son is nearly 20 and also been out of school since 13. He does not like family events, birthdays christmas. Will not attended anything anymore. So extended family have basically forgotten about him....Not interested in seeing friends face to face only communicates with his gaming friends via internet. At the moment he only leaves the house with me no one else can be in our company. He wont come. Have tried lovan and he took it for the last three years. Tiny bit of improvement when using a very high dose. So now weaning off. Im also very worried about the future. Thinking about moving to a more rural place since everyone in this suburb has forgotten him anyway. We live in australia. Nice to hear im not alone though 
  • Pippa_Alumni
    Pippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,793 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @jobrooks2116 and @jolinda, and thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I hope it helps to know that you're not alone- you may be interested in our other ASD discussions too.
  • jolinda
    jolinda Community member Posts: 4 Listener
  • patbecky89
    patbecky89 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hello,  I have a 27 yo son with Down syndrome/Autism. With severe Anxiety. We had to take him out of program because of it. Right now I'm learning all about sensory and diet. I can get him to go for morning rides. But still cannot get him to a store for years now. Baby steps. I'm here if you want to talk.
  • jolinda
    jolinda Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi ? today on my day off from work we are cleaning my sons room and getting a new desk for his computer. So he is getting ready to come to the shop with me to pick one up. He has not been out for a while now. 
    I work 3 days a week wed - fri and also recieve a part carer payment for my son. I have tried theropy with him and he does not engage . I am starting to feel like i should stop or cut down working to put more time into helping him. So i was wondering do other parents work aswell as caring for an adult son or daughter? And how do you cope? I dont have any help from family members 

  • Rainbowwarrior637
    Rainbowwarrior637 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    my son is the same and I'm starting to think residential is actually better for him and would make him independant, all the authorities knows what he has but he refuses to be diagnosed, he doesn't leave the house at all except to go jogging and is up all night too. often disturbing everyone and leaving a mess, he's 28 and I don't get any allowance for him because of this and he gets no income. I can't even go away.
  • janemtrohear
    janemtrohear Community member Posts: 8 Connected

    I identify with so much of the posts in this thread. My Asperger daughter is 20 & only leaves the house once a week to visit her cousin & her 2 toddler sons. She plays on her Switch & Wii U all day & has no real life friends locally. She stays in her bedroom for 99% of her day & only engages with me & ignores her Dad most of the time. 
    It is very worrying as before the anxiety started 3 years ago she was doing really well at her special school. 
  • AelonRhiadra
    AelonRhiadra Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi, as an Aspie myself I'd like to share some things that help me when I go outside. 
    The first is a good of noise cancelling earbuds with familiar music to reduce the noise and help keep me calm and grounded and reduce how often I'm bothered by sales people. As they can see I can't hear them. 

    Second is a plan. Where I'm going  when. What I'm going to do there. Who I'm going to meet  I plan things extensively and even what to do if something is wrong.

    The third thing is someone I can call if I get overwhelmed  Usually mum. 
  • Eloner
    Eloner Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hello everyone sorry,
     I haven't been back for a while. Things haven't changed. I am getting help from social services, they are sending people in three times a week. One company comes in twice a week for three hours but in all honesty, they are a babysitting service and have no knowledge of Autism so they sit with him whilst I go shopping, the second company, well I have heard nothing from them since December the last time anyone came. My son still hasn't left the house. I have tried so many strategies, so many companies, have been let down by the Autistic Society badly, but still plodding on. My husband's health has deteriorated so he is only working part-time so I am going to cancel the carers who visit as it's a waste of time, I am paying money for nothing.
    My son is happier, he has started a new medication which seems to be working, he is not as anxious as he was, and is not having as many 'blow-ups' which is wonderful. He still won't go into the garden though. We shall persevere on, I'm not giving up.
    Thank you to everyone who has given support and advice it means a lot. Thank you again x
  • wildlife
    wildlife Community member Posts: 1,293 Pioneering
    Hi @Eloner, Glad you decided to pop in here again. As you can see there are other people in similar circumstances to yourself who understand what you're going through. Mine is slightly different. We have an adopted son who was physically abused by his Birth Mother  up to the age of 18 months when we fostered him. He was very quiet and withdrawn with no feelings for anyone or anything but we put it down to his early experiences. However the years rolled by and having fostered another boy who was a real handful our attention was focussed on getting through every day. We had no help as we adopted both of them. When the quiet son hit his teens it became apparent he was not like other boys his age. Still withdrawn but then he was targeted by bullies and even the police arrested him for something he didn't do. From then on he started drinking and having angry out bursts of uncontrollable and sometimes bazaar behaviour. He is 35 now and has been diagnosed with Learning Difficulties but only through the job centre with tests he was forced to do to get any benefit. He has no other diagnosis but we're pretty sure he has autism or ASD. He lives in his own place 10 minutes from us and his Dad cares for him. He goes over every morning to make sure he has food in and pays his bills etc. He is very much like the other "children" mentioned on here. Spends hours in his bedroom on his laptop, doesn't go out on his own, his life is just empty. He won't engage with Doctors to get a proper diagnosis so there's no help available. My hubby is 71 now and can't look after him for ever. I don't see him much as he doesn't relate to females at all. This country has got it all wrong with the attitude that the person themselves has to take the initiative to get help. If they won't or can't they're left with nothing.    
  • jolinda
    jolinda Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi everyone after long thought I have made the decision to give up my job to be there more for my son. Mostly for company and emotional support for him.  My job was very draining and I had nothing left to help him.  It's really hard to get ahead these days. It has been great reading similar stories to ours. ? 
  • shellyypark
    shellyypark Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi all. Thank you for sharing your stories. My son has just turned 23 and was diagnosed ASD -Aspergers just before Christmas last year. He went through main stream school as an ignorant, moodly laxidazical teenager with anger issues. So we had absolutely no help from anywhere friends or family. Now the diagnosis explains it and apart from what seem empty promises from the various medical and social services we are still not really getting help. I ended up making him homeless after a disagreement during which he threatened to put me in hospital if i didnt leave him alone. He is not 'happy' but he is content in his room, eating when he wants, sleeping when he wants and playing his computor games when he wants. He goes out several times a week to a little of the main street cafe to eat. The chap there has many vunerable people pop in throughout the day and holds a tab for him which we top up weekly so he can just go in anytime he wants even if it is just to sit during an anxiety attack or just because. The chap sits with him to chat, and makes him feel safe. It has taken 2 years of regular visits together to get here.

    He would still rather not go out of his room. But he also understands its no life. He doesnt eved ask anyone for help including the carer services provided by the housing company. His social worker is at her whits end, as am I. 

    I just wanted go share and say that life before diagnosis was hard as he was so misunderstood but no-one would believe me that it was more. Now...... no-one seems to care, well now its just an excuse for his previous bad behaviour. It is so sad that our older children are left unsupported because they want and need a different type of life to 'normal' adults. It feels like they dont fit so they dont matter. And the support we recieve, ok, so, I really mean don't recieve is just awful.

    Be strong people, its our love and patience that is the thing that will reach them in the end. God bless you x
  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,780 Pioneering
    Hi @Eloner thank you for updating us. How is everything going now? Sorry to hear about your husband, how is he doing now? Happy to hear your son is feeling happier. :) I'll tag in @SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors for any suggestions they may have.


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