When Someone with Autism Runs Away / goes AWOL

I am on the Autistic spectrum, so I get autism really well. I have friends who aren’t as high functioning and then there are those who I watch out for more then the others. The people with Autism who run away, go AWOL, whatever you want to call it– I usually handle that very well. Tonight I wasn’t so fortunate.

I usually locate someone who goes AWOL within minutes, but not always. Someone with Autism who runs away quite often, especially when there is loud music ran away tonight. We immediately were searching everywhere for him. There were cars going over the area, I was covering everywhere he always goes and the entire premise. He was nowhere to be found. People without Aspergers would say they felt sick to their stomach, but I didn’t. I hated myself. I’ve stopped this specific runner and found him so many times, so many freaking times and this one time he was nowhere to be found. We went on lock-down, which means no one was allowed in, and no one was allowed out. We had never gotten to the point where we had to do a lock down to the point where no one was allowed in or out, but it was needed. We didn’t need a second runner. The cops were called. They combed the city. Somehow in 35 minutes or so the runner had made it 5 miles away from where he started. Everyone was thrilled the runner was found, but at the same time I still blamed myself for him getting away in the first place. No, it wasn’t my job to watch him, but I always do. Of course, everyone said I shouldn’t beat myself up, since I wasn’t even in charge of the runner, heck I didn’t even know that specific individual was with us that evening until  they dissapeared.

The individual may have ran due to the sound from the music, it was Halloween so people were having fun. I don’t know why that individual ran or why they ran so far. Everyone was visibly upset until the runner was found, but their reactions were different then mine. I’d love it if you shared your experience with people who have Autism running away in the comments. It’d be most interesting.


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