9-Year-Old Autistic Girl Who Can't Speak Goes Missing

Nine-year-old Mikaela Lynch reportedly went missing on Mother's Day from her parents' vacation home in Clearlake, California. While any parent would be absolutely beside themselves if their child went missing, Mikaela's parents must be even more terrified, if that's possible. That's because Mikaela is autistic and can't speak. She has the mental ability of a 1-year-old. She can't scream for help if she's been kidnapped. Nor can she express herself to a stranger if she's lost. In fact, she may not even approach help and just wander around, silently. Additionally, the little girl has seizures and takes medication, which she doesn't have with her. A nightmare for any parent.

Mikaela was apparently last seen in the yard of her home. She'd been playing on a trampoline with her younger brother in a fenced in yard. Early in the afternoon, her parents noticed she was missing and called police.

Reportedly, Mikaela wore a diaper and would take off her clothes when she was hot. Since clothes were found in the yard, she is believed to be naked and shoeless.

I can't imagine a more harrowing scenario! This child is completely helpless, out there in the world somewhere. Did she wander off to the homes nearby and drown? (She apparently couldn't swim.) Is she lost in the woods? Or, worst case scenario, did someone take her?

Reports say she was being watched by her younger brother, who is 8 years old.

Mikaela's parents have chosen not to speak out now and their silence is, of course, sparking rumors. Additionally, questions are being asked about why Mikaela was outside without parental supervision. If she was outside playing in her own yard with her brother, I can see how the parents thought she would be okay. She'd probably done it hundreds of times before. Additionally, there was a fence around the yard. You can't watch a kid 24/7. On the other hand, Mikaela's disabilities seem rather severe, so it would be a lot to expect her younger brother to be in charge of her.

I'm not going to take the harsh tone that at least one editorial takes and blame the parents. I can only imagine what their lives are like dealing with a girl with such profound disabilities. All we can do is wait and see what happened to Mikaela.

What do you think happened?


Image via Clearlake Police

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nonmember avatar Krystal

I'm a mom of multiple children on the spectrum and I know that its tough! I let my kids play in the backyard together while I prep things inside. They need to be able to play. The yard is fenced in. I feel safe with them being there. They watch eachother. I watch them through the window. Its what parents do. I feel for the family and hope that they find Mikaela safe. Kids with autism are prone to wander - it is scary losing them for a minute...days is even more scary. My thoughts and prayers go to the family.

LostS... LostSoul88

If she has a mind of a 1 yr old why the hell would parents leave her ALONE outside?! I hope she is found safe. 

Rachel Gilmore

the parents need a kick in the arse why would u not have an adult watch her also y would u put all that pressure on a 9 yr old i hope they find her but the parents need to be charged with neglect imo

nonmember avatar Theresa

I hope they find her and fast. God, I feel for those parents and it can happen so fast. My son whose autistic wanders. He's 6 and can't speak and one time I was giving my younger daughter a bath and he bolted out the door. The doors have alarms and I had to yell to my mom to watch my daughter as ran for him, this all happened in a span of 30 seconds and my son was already 3 houses down running. That's how fast it happens. It's scary.

Chelsea Hoffman

Thanks for sharing both my flyer and my story in your post!

I understand that some people are offended by my criticism of the parents, but I still stand by it. It's one thing to leave your kids out in the backyard unattended (9/8 yr olds do it all the time) but when one of them is so severely disabled that she has the brain functions of a one year old infant, then she needs a little more supervision (when near a LAKE!) than an eight year old child who runs inside and leaves her out there because he was scared off by a bee...

The parents were NOT being responsible... and their silence speaks volumes IMHO.

I want this little girl to be found and brought home now. It breaks my heart when babies go missing, especially ones who are in need of supervision and care like special needs kids... but I really think these parents need to take a lesson or two in parenting special children.

MelDo... MelDouglas

I agree, i let my older children play in my backyard and i feel safe about it, but I'm constantly checking on them and watching through my back door. Now they are saying this special girl was mentally equivalent to a 1 year old. That's way to young to be unattended. I'm not trying to be judgmental, but this story strikes a big question mark in my head. Who would expect an 8 yr old to take care of a special needs child? If she is believed to be clothes less why hasn't anyone seen A naked 9yr walking around? I'm not a nosy neighbor but if I would definitelynotice something like that. I'm hoping I'm just paranoid and this story has a happy ending, but I'm doubting it

Tanaya Hale

Just so people dont start throwing harsh judgement in the way of the parents of this little lost girl.  I would like to let it be known that a surveillance camera (attatched to a neighboring house) shows the little girl going down the street and within one minute the mother passing the same camera in her vehicle searching for the little one.  This is not a case of crazy neglect. It is what can happen in an instant when you turn your head.  

mleil... mleilanim

I see absolutely no problem with a brother and sister playing on the trampoline in their own fenced in backyard. Just because the 8yo was there doesn't mean he was delegated "watcher over the 9yo". I find it hard to fathom though that the neighbors don't recollect a naked 9yo running down the street.....

adopt... adoption2013

What do I think happened?  I suspect that some pervert has her.  She has the mental abilities of a baby.  She should have had adult supervision.  I don't leave my three year old outside in my yard with a six foot fence and padlocked gate.  The world is full of evil people who like to hurt little children. 

adopt... adoption2013

autistic children wander, they have no fear.  It is not the same thing as letting your children with no mental challenges play outside.

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