Hi there! I normally don't join sites like this because I'm a very
private person, but at this point, we are at our wit's end. We have a
12 year old son with Asperger's and we can't get him to stop stealing.
It's constant, like even if I just go to the bathroom, as soon as the
door shuts he's stealing something. And obviously he's too old for me
to just go with the door open. What's even worse is that he's taught
his little sister these things and now she's almost as bad as he is. He
will lie and lie and lie, even if you've caught him red-handed he just
keeps denying it. I will be happy to answer questions as to what we've
tried already and I am willing to give almost anything a whirl. I know I
can't be the only parent going through this.
Get him evaluated for something other than autism. Stealing and lieing is probably something else besides autism.
You can have more than one thing - and chronic lying and stealing isn't something that is inherent to autism... I would have him re-evaluated for something that would make him behave that way, there are other disorders that can contribute to that behavior.
I'm not sure if it's about the stealing, honestly. It's almost like he's just seeing if he can get away with it. Like trying to prove that he's smarter than us. When asked he says he can't help it and he doesn't know why he does it. I've never even thought of getting him evaluated for something else. I've seen a lot of other parents of autistic children that have trouble with stealing and they don't know what to do about it, either. And of course we can't get through to him that it hurts our feelings because he can't understand that. The doctor thought maybe it's an impulse control problem and put him on resperidone, which helped at first but that ended quickly. We're really at our wit's end about this.
It might sound extreme, but you could speak to the police and get them to give him a fake arresting, like take him in to the station, take fingerprints etc. I would assume you've already done the thing where you make him go back and give back what he stole, and apologize, right? He needs to see what the consequences will be if he keeps stealing! Either that or take away something of his every time he steals from someone else.
We thought about doing that with the police but around here they're asking that we not "scare" children with that because then they might not go to a cop if they need help. He doesn't steal from stores anymore, he only did that once and it worked that we took him back in. He's stealing from us and from other family members. I have taken away from him and he just steals it back. I'm loathe to throw his stuff away because of expense, but I'm afraid that's what it's going to come down to.