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Hello. A friend of mine has an autistic child. He is very disruptive.

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Hello. A friend of mine has an autistic child. He is very disruptive. He is now thirteen and has developed an obsession with people's backs. She and her daughter have to lock themselves in their rooms when he gets out of control. He can misbehave in the car and could potentially cause an accident. I am also concerned that he might attack someone in the street. She has been through the system exhaustively, the health and social welfare system, talking to politicians etc. She is extremely stressed. Apparently he needs specific tuition which is not available/affordable. I have tried to explain to her that the country is bankrupt and that everyone in the system is probably over-worked. Anyway, my question is, what are her legal options in order to pre-empt him causing harm either to family members or to others? (This can hardly be the first time that such a situation has arisen.) Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Fran-moderator replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX keep searching!

Expert:  Fran-moderator replied 2 years ago.
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Thank you for your continued patience. We will continue the search for a professional for you.
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Expert:  CamilleRN replied 2 years ago.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a Health Professional. I am so sorry for your long wait. While I can't answer the legal aspect of this question, I can address the social problems she is experiencing with this difficult situation. Is he currently on any medication for his behavior?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, he's not on medication as far as I know. (I haven't been able to contact my friend this evening to check.) I suppose my question boils down to the issue of whether she can put him away somewhere, to put it bluntly. I don't think that's something she even wants to think about, but in my opinion something should be done before something serious happens. She is a lone parent and the other member of the family is a girl of fifteen. They are both very stressed and the situation is interfering with the girl's schoolwork, which is a great pity as she is bright and hard-working. They both are getting hardly any sleep at the moment, as he is up at all hours rampaging through the house. There must be some more permanent care situation available, surely, rather than the occasional respite which is all she can avail of at the moment. What would be the situation if something were to happen to a parent in such a situation, eg if they died, or became seriously ill so that they were unable any longer to look after the child? Surely the child would be taken into care in that situation? Can this be done if the child is a serious threat to the mental/physical well-being of others (apart from a situation where the parent died or could not physically care for him any more?) Surely it makes no sense to wait for something terrible to happen before the situation is dealt with? What are her options in this situation before it gets any worse? My friend is an exemplary mother and a devoted parent with a degree of patience that I would never have, but she is near cracking up at the moment.

Expert:  CamilleRN replied 2 years ago.

Hi, from a medical point of view, yes he can be placed into residential care if he is deemed to be a threat to himself or to others. However to begin this process his mother would have to present her concerns to his Physician or Psychiatrist who can then guide her on the best course of action. I do agree with you that there needs to be some kind of an intervention to this disruptive environment as it is unhealthy for all involved, including the boy himself. Perhaps you could approach this topic gently with your friend, as this may be a very painful subject for her.

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