HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Aspergers Teen Goes Crazy Over Women’s Feet

"My teenage son with Aspergers goes crazy when he sees women’s feet. He likes to touch them. I can’t go out anywhere because I always have this problem. When I try to stop him, he turns violent and tries to hit me or hits himself. What can I do to help him?"

Teens with Aspergers (high functioning autism) have a difficult time understanding sexual feelings and appropriate actions regarding sexual activities. Many times, the sexual interests of people with Aspergers, at your son’s age, are one-sided, not reciprocal, as it is when he touches the feet of women he doesn’t know. As you have seen, this results in some terribly difficult situations. Your son is unable to understand the rules that govern this type of behavior; he only knows that he must (as far as he is concerned) touch those feet! He misunderstands the situation and acts too intense and very inappropriately. His frustration when you try to stop him results in violence.

If all sense of proportion is lost, a fetish/obsession like his can lead to a criminal offense. A lack of concern for others can result in an assault that is damaging. People with Aspergers often lack insight into the feelings of others and deny responsibility for their actions; this is an inability to see inappropriate behavior as others see it. This situation is very serious because of the potential for arrest and prosecution. Sit him down and explain to him very graphically how the women feel when he approaches them and touches them. He must understand that they are terrified, don’t know what to do, and upset because this type of behavior in public is illegal. Tell him he could be arrested and put in jail. Repeat this – over and over.

Adults with Asperger’s, who have average or above IQs, report a high frequency of obsessions and compulsions that are intrusive, upsetting, and overwhelming.

People with Aspergers tend to be obsessive about their interests, so it’s no surprise that a lot of them are obsessed with sex. Reports have been made regarding these obsessions, but they haven’t been studied much. Sexual obsessions are more commonly reported by people with Aspergers who also were diagnosed with Obssessive/Compulsive Disorder. Compulsions occupied at least one to three hours per day in 26%, and 56% reported anxiety if prevented from performing their rituals.

It’s difficult to determine if your son’s behavior is distinct as a sexually offensive behavior or one that is a manifestation of Aspergers, or both. The two are merged. He will continue this behavior unless intensive treatment is provided. His insight and ability to stop is extremely limited and you are not able to control him at his age and size.

Your son may well need professional counseling support. Consult with a psychotherapist familiar with both sexually offending behaviors and pervasive developmental disorders. Family psychotherapy and careful supervision are warranted. The therapist may recommend that he participate in group social skills training and group treatment for adolescents with sexually offending behaviors and pervasive developmental disabilities. A therapeutic, highly structured and supervised educational program would seem necessary.

Individuals with ASD who have obsessive-compulsive symptoms may benefit from standard treatments for OCD such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors as well as cognitive and behavioral therapies. Serotonergic drugs can reduce obsessions, although finding the right drug may take time and, once found, its effect may be partial and temporary. Also as ever; be mindful of any side effects.

The sooner you arrange for your son to get some help, the better.

The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed With Aspergers Syndrome


COMMENTS:

Anonymous said... This is a great article and very helpful. As an educator of children with Asperger's, I am always looking for innovative techniques to teach social skills. I think one of the first steps is for parents to recognize that problem solving skills that may come naturally to some, need to be taught and broken down for those with Asperger's. It can be a challenge, put with practice and consistent support, skills can be taught, retained, and generalized. 

Anonymous said... I have read that giving them free access to whatever causes the stim will eventually cause them to get tired of it. if you know a million ladies who need a foot massage you might be able to wear him out. Sorry it's causing you huge problems.

Anonymous said... It might also be the start of a passion for selling shoes, sandals, everything for feet. Girls love their feet & shoes we need people passionate to work in businesses to cater for that. The passion just needs a bit of direction & channeling. Best wishes. 

2 comments:

Laura Guerro said...

There are many ways to embrace a foot fetish, and I'm sure he'll find a way to channel that passion, cuz it's life long. I also pray that someday he will find a woman who understands.

KJ Setser said...

Me too!! Because There are not that many good women out there and I hope he doesn't end up with the wrong one. :(
He has autism and foot fetish just like ms, So I'll pray for him.

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