Asperger's Syndrome Newletter Header Image

Volume 61

Hi, I'm Craig Kendall, the author of The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.

What to do about inappropriate sexual behavior?

I received this email from a concerned parent...

 

 

Sir,
An autistic boy 15 years of age goes to a special school. He lives with his parent and elder sister at home. He speaks and communicates with others. For the last few weeks we have observed that he is trying to touch the sensitive body parts of female students in the class. Sometimes he does it with female teachers also. When he can't do this he becomes angry, shouts and hit others. So please give some ideas which will help us to overcome the problem.

 

 


Here is an excerpt from my book, the Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teens and Young Adults which may help address this problem.

One major issue that comes up in middle and high school is dating and the onset of puberty. Autistic teens typically have the same urges and desires to have relationships and to sexually explore as other teens; the difference is that they often might not understand some of the rules and unspoken guidelines that apply. This can often get them into trouble.

Some teens have trouble knowing when it is appropriate to do things like masturbation, and they need explicit instruction that those things are to be done only in private. Some teens might need to be told that touching any private areas in public is a no no; talking about sexual subjects in public is typically also inappropriate but your AS teen may not understand the bounds.

Girls and Dating

Teenage girls with autism may need special instruction and guidelines to ensure safe dating. They are at special risk for being taken advantage of because they may not understand when someone is harassing them or even abusing them. They might not understand the difference between good attention and bad attention. Again, explicit instruction needs to be given about this issue. Social stories can be written about it, or else just give concrete examples and break it into small pieces so as to be sure you teen under­stands the concepts you are trying to present.

Boys and Dating

Adolescent males with autism need to be told rules about how you approach girls in an appropriate way so as not to seem like they are stalkers. Sometimes, caught up in their own enthusiasm and not understanding social rules, teens with Asperger's syndrome (AS) have been accused of being "creepy" or "bugging" girls, simply because they did not understand how to approach girls in an appropriate way. Also, girls may use indirect language or hints to indicate that your son is moving too fast or that they have little interest in a relationship.

Unfortunately, AS teens often misinterpret or completely miss indirect language and hints. For example, a girl may be constantly "busy" when your son asks her for a date; but he may not understand that this is a polite rejection. Unless a girl states flatly that she does not want to date your son, he may continue to call and hound her – creating an unpleasant situation for all involved.

Physical contact

It is important to teach the difference between good touch and bad touch, and to tell your teen to report anything that makes them uncomfortable. Teach them to lock bathroom stalls, and who it is okay to talk about their sexual feelings with and who it is not. Of course these lessons will change as your teen gets older.

Teens need to learn that certain behaviors that were okay at an earlier age, like hugging everyone and anyone, or sitting in people's laps, may be inappropriate and send out the wrong messages as they become older. You may find it uncomfortable to be this direct with your child when discussing sexuality, kissing, dating and other romantic subjects. But it is critical to address these issues with your AS teen.

Some teens need to be taught and reminded to do things like shaving and wearing deodorant. Girls will need help learning how to use pads and tampons and learning why they need to do this and why it is important to keep clean when doing so.

The most important thing to remember about teens and sexuality is to provide an open, respectful environment where your teen feels comfortable asking questions – and to provide as much explicit instruction about the ins and outs of dating and social protocols as you can. With a little planning ahead, you can get through this time, and your teen will build the skills and knowledge to navigate the dating world on their own.

Instructions for parents with teens on the autism spectrum

Parents should...

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Have open, honest talks with their children about sex. Even if it is uncomfortable. You must do this because kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often will not learn from their peers about sexual boundaries due to their lack of social skills.

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Ensure that you not only explain what is acceptable behavior on the part of your loved one, but also ensure that they understand what type of behavior is, and is not, appropriate from others.

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Both ASD girls and boys, at this age, desperately seek friends—but often fail miserably at developing many friendships. Getting inappropriate attention from the opposite sex is very common, especially from girls.

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Remember to be specific. Teens with ASD need to be given instructions in very plain language, and often need to be told more than once before the lesson hits home.

For more information on surviving the teenage years, check out my book, the Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teens and Young Adults.

 

My book on Aspergers for Teens and Young Adults discusses bullying, anxiety, depression and what to do about it. Click here for more information:

www.aspergerssociety.org/teen_book.htm

 

Learn how to...

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Make and keep friends

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Building relationships

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Get and KEEP a job

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Minimize depression and add meaning to your life

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Understand therapy options and much more.

This book is not only for adults who have Asperger's but also for their loved ones

Which of these questions do you want to solve?

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Are you struggling in an unhappy marriage and want to save it?

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Do you have an Asperger's loved one who cannot seem to get or hold a job?

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Has the romance, fire and passion gone out of your relationship and you are at the end of your rope?

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Do you have an adult child who is "stuck"? Still living at home? Living an isolated life with no meaningful relationships?

Yes, Craig, I want to help my loved one who has Aspergers and improve my relationship with them

Click here for more information

 

The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide Book Image

For additional information on Asperger's Syndrome go to the web site  www.AspergersSociety.org. There you will be able to sign up for the free Aspergers newsletter as well as get additional information on the book, The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide.

Craig Kendall is the father of an Asperger's child and the author of "The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide". You can find more information about living with Asperger's Syndrome by contacting him on this site: www.AspergersSociety.org

 

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Thank you,

Craig Kendall, Author