Home > Awareness > NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ Tackles When Your Child Goes Missing

NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ Tackles When Your Child Goes Missing

In this week’s episode ‘Missing‘ of NBC‘s Parenthood, Max’s plans to go to the museum are ruined because both Kristina and Adam have commitments with work. Haddy is left to watch Max, but is involved with a school project. When Haddie is immersed in work and not being vigilant, Max leaves and tries to find his way to the museum.

Has your child ever gone missing? How have you reacted? Do you have protocol in place if a situation like this occurs? 

The Experts Speak says,

“A missing child. Fear, panic, seemingly hundreds of phone calls, 911 and a police car outside. Now add Asperger’s to the mix.

In this episode of Parenthood, Max gets tired of waiting for his museum visit, accuses his family of breaking their promises, and decides to take matters into his own hands. So he sets out to go to the museum by himself, sending his entire family into full-blown panic mode. It’s scary enough for any child to be missing, but when you know the child has Asperger’s, you also know the child doesn’t have the usual respect for strangers or fear of danger that protects most kids.

Every year, children with autism spectrum disorders go missing from their families. Most are returned safely. Unfortunately, some are not, and the worst imaginable happens. We read of these cases in the newspaper, and we know that another family is destroyed.”

Please visit our website for more information on Safety Products and Safety Tips.

Also check out, ‘Why Do Children with Autism Wander and Bolt from Safe Places?

  1. sherri moe bartley
    November 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

    That was and awesome performance by this cast, This show is amazing, getting back to real issues, not faux reality. I am impressed with all the issues they tackle, and we are sorely in need of more family shows, such as this. Great writing, Great Cast, Great Crew! Kudos on them.. Thanks for posting, your Organization Rocks!

    • Felicia
      November 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      I agree Sherri, I love this show

  2. Stefanie
    November 30, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I think everyone out there can relate to this show one way or another, we see your own family in the Bravermans. One of my favorite shows on TV.

    I worry about my son getting older and doing something like this, he is on the autism spectrum and has no fear.

  3. s
    November 30, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I had that.. my son with autism left school wandered off due he was ready to leave. Thank god he was found in my backyard playing and I lived far.

  4. Sandi Smith
    November 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I think they should have taught Max that what he did was wrong. They just assume that because he has Aspergers he cannot learn. That is so wrong. He CAN. Maybe he doesn’t get things naturally, but he can be taught. They could have turned it around and asked him how he would have felt if Hady just left the house and he was there alone. How would he feel if he looked for her all over and she was just gone. Instead they just let Max go feed his fish.

    I have a son with Aspergers and he has learned so much because we teach him. I wish the writers would write more of that into the show. They just show Max melting down and say it’s OK because he has Aspergers. Well, it’s not. Even Temple Grandin thinks this way and she should know because she is on the spectrum herself.

    • Elizabeth Chuan-Riley
      December 1, 2011 at 1:25 am

      Awesome point! Thanks for making it. You should email the show about this!

    • J. R.
      December 1, 2011 at 9:38 am

      I loved the show, but I agree 100% about the lack of consequences, The parents should have tried to turn it into a teaching moment. Explain it to him. All I saw was that they took him to the musueam like he wanted (and let him feed his fish, yes).

      My child has Asperger’s and I would have both spoken to him at length and imposed a consequence, so he would hopefully remember and learn not to do it again. It is a hard balance, but in my son’s life there are consequences for some actions, and they have helped him learn.

  5. Sherry Hopkins
    November 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Love this show! Our autistic 9 year old left home and was picked up a mile away from our house thankfully someone we knew picked him up!!

  6. A
    November 30, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    My – back then – 11.5 years old son with AS was missing while we were skiing on Germany’s highest mountain. After 40 minutes of going up the hill in this special train, we finally reached the peak, he (an intermediate skier) put his ski on and suddenly despaired. I missed the moment and soon after I had all dark toughs in my head, but was conscious enough that I alarmed all the people I found from the ski patrol as well as the lift workers (there was probably 10 or more different lift stations) who were calling each other in order to find my son. I described in details what he was wearing, especially his red ski helmet. After about one hour of horrible stress, someone informed that he was found and well, waiting for me on the other side of the hill. Of course, he didn’t know what happened. He went down the way he liked and thought that I will go the same way…

  7. Sharon
    November 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Awesome show lasr night! Every parents worst nightmare…and if you have a child on the spectrum (or twins on the spectrum like I do) you felt every moment of anguish they went thru. I too wish the writers had put some “consequences” in there for Max. Our kids are very bright and can learn when taught correctly. Chalking it up to “aspergers” sends the wrong message to the general public that we are trying to educate. Overall though EXCELLENT JOB!

  8. November 30, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    It is the most terifying experience when your child wanders off. It has happened to me 4 times, 2 times at school, 2 times at home. I have had to get ADT and bell chimes for the school. He is 12 now and I hope and pray he never wanders off again. I already have 1 sent in my heart! I hope it don’t happen to anybody, whether your child is autistic or not. Have to keep a eye on him every second! Literally!!! To boot he doe’s not speak! So say a prayer for my son Matthew that he someday be able to tell someone what his name is. Thank you, Sandra Wardwell

  9. November 30, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    My greatest fear! I have a wanderer. He’s also non-verbal. I have the house alarmed so that I hear it if he opens windows or doors. I have the door secured so he can’t open it (though one day…) I have the neighbours on alert.

    Because the cops here are not particularly good. There’s currently an autistic girl in foster care because she got out of the house and Dad called the cops. They seized her when they found her. No other reason. It’s been several months of a nightmare for her and her family.

  10. December 2, 2011 at 7:45 am

    When my son was 5 years old, in Kindergarten, he left the school because he already knew what they were teaching in the class that day. The school found him walking half way home(about 1/2 mile). He is 15 now and one might not even realize he has Asperger’s because we did such a thorough job of teaching him explicitly all the things that other kids get implicitly. I am very proud of him.

    Despite the lack of follow-up from the show’s parents, they do a great job! I do wonder if the child who plays Max is an Aspie because the portrayal is so realistic!

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