16 Jan 2017

Autistic boy due in court for fifth time in five days

12:00 pm on 16 January 2017

A 14-year-old autistic boy will appear in the Palmerston North District Court for the fifth time in as many days today, as his parents battle with agencies to find him a permanent place to live.

The campaign wants state care to be available to young people until they are 21-years-old.

The autistic boy will appear in court again today (file photo). Photo: 123RF

Arrested last week because of a domestic incident at home, the boy was put in a police cell before spending the weekend in an IHC-provided house after being rejected by several care agencies.

An advocate helping the family, Wendy Duff, said it would be ideal if the boy could live in a residence with staff trained in dealing with autistic youths.

"He's been to court far too many times for this to continue. It [a solution] needs to happen this morning".

The boy's mother told RNZ last week that they were desperate.

"This shouldn't happen and we've been asking for help for so long.

"Even through a court nothing can happen, and these services, he doesn't fit [their] criteria."

She said she understood agencies didn't have staff qualified to deal with her son but that didn't help her situation.

"It's just too common with these kids and there's gotta be someone out there.

"No one's qualified I keep getting told, but, I mean we're not either."