Earlier this week there was a story about a missing teenager. He had left the house after a argument and someone left a comment on another page: Why wouldn't he answer to his name? Why would he hide? He's autistic not deaf. They also went into how the autistic kids they knew acted and this just didn't make sense. I don't think the person meant to be rude they just didn't know.
If my kid took off he may not answer to his name, he might hide, it all depends on his mood and anxiety level. Some days he would be here I am and others he would hide especially if he was lost and upset.
When Roger was in kindergarten we lived in an apartment complex that had a playground. We got home one day and he wanted to go to the park but I needed to change his sister and get a few other things done first. I thought he went into his room. I was talking to a friend on the phone and noticed he was really quite, I called him no answer, looked in his room no Roger, looked in my room nope, looked in the bathroom nope. Kept calling his name the whole time no answer.
My friend on the phone said maybe he took himself to the park. I ran down three flights of stairs and across the complex to the park no Roger. Ok time to panic. I kept calling his name outside no answer. Ran back up the stairs to look again looked in every closet, every cabinet, under every bed. Basically anywhere I thought he could fit.
I found him in the apartment he had been there the whole time. He had squeezed himself behind the couch and fallen asleep. Never did he answer to his name and he was hiding in a place I wouldn't think he would have fit.
So you see while some kids will respond to their name others don't. Some hide, some don't. Some have high levels of anxiety that can make them fear strangers, some don't. Even the same person may react differently based on the situation they are in.