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Aspergers Children and Sexual Fetishism


Overall, my Aspergers son has been a good kid. Loves going to school (but all through elementary school had bullying issues). Seems better this year in high school (he chose a new school). He has Asperger's syndrome (terrible social skills...yet loves to be social, but can't fit in). He has always been extremely "strong willed". I am at my wits end....he lies to me (minor things), he is disrespectful to myself and his dad, he starts and will not give in to numerous arguments (until we tell him he is right and we are wrong....this can go on for hours). The worse thing is that now he seems to have developed a fetish...he is stealing diapers and I don't know what is going on. This last thing has now distanced myself from him....I cannot deal with this, nor do I know how..He looks up pictures of diapers on internet (when he is supposed to be doing internet homework projects), then he lies about it when I ask him why he is on these sights. It is him, because there is no one else. Therapists are out, unless we know something about them, they can mess you up more than help, unless they are good.

Can you help?

Desperate mom


Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is the sexual arousal brought on by any object, situation or body part not conventionally viewed as being sexual in nature. Sexual fetishism may be regarded, e.g. in psychiatric medicine, as a disorder of sexual preference or as an enhancing element to a relationship. The sexual acts involving fetishes are characteristically depersonalized and objectified, even when they involve a partner. Body parts may also be the subject of sexual fetishes (also known as partialism) in which the body part preferred by the fetishist takes a sexual precedence over the owner.

Psychologists and medical practitioners regard fetishism as normal variations of human sexuality. Even those orientations that are potential forms of fetishism are usually considered unobjectionable as long as all people involved feel comfortable. Only if the diagnostic criteria presented in detail below are met is the medical diagnosis of fetishism justified. The leading criteria are that a fetishist is ill only if he or she suffers from the addiction, not simply because of the addiction itself.

The diagnostic criteria for fetishism are as follows:
  • Unusual sexual fantasies, drives or behavior occur over a time span of at least six months. Sometimes unusual sexual fantasies occur and vanish by themselves; in this case any medical treatment is not necessary.
  • The affected person, her object or another person experience impairment or distress in multiple functional areas. Functional area refers to different aspects of life such as private social contacts, job, etc. It is sufficient for the diagnosis if one of the participants is being hurt or mistreated in any other way.

There are two possible treatments for fetishism: cognitive therapy and psychoanalysis, though treatment is not usually necessary. Both may be complemented by additional treatments.

Cognitive therapy—

Cognitive therapy seeks to change a person's behavior without analyzing how and why it has shown up. It is based on the idea that fetishism is the result of conditioning or imprinting.

One possible therapy is aversive conditioning, in which the person is confronted with his fetish and as soon as sexual arousal starts, is exposed to a displeasing stimulus. It is reported that in earlier times painful stimuli such as electric shocks have been used as aversive stimulus. Today a common aversive stimulus are photographs that show unpleasing scenes such as penned in genitals. In a variant called assisted aversive conditioning, an assistant releases abominable odors as an aversive stimulus.

Another possible therapy is a technique called thought suppression, in which the therapist asks the patient to think of the fetish and suddenly cries out "stop!". The patient will be irritated, their line of thought broken. After analyzing the effects of the sudden break together, the therapist will teach the patient to use this technique by him or herself to interrupt thoughts about the fetish and thus avoid the undesired behavior.


Psychoanalysis tries to find the traumatic unconscious experience that has caused the fetish. Bringing this unconscious knowledge to a conscious state and, by enabling the person to work out the trauma rationally and emotionally, may relieve the person from the problems. Unlike cognitive therapy, psychoanalysis tackles the cause itself.

There are various techniques available for the analyzing process, including talk therapy, dream analysis and play therapy. Which method will be chosen depends upon the problem itself, the person's attitude and reactions to certain methods and the therapist's education and preference. This type of treatment is rarely used.


Various pharmaceutical drugs are available that inhibit the production of sex steroids, especially male testosterone and female estrogen. By cutting down the level of sex steroids, sexual desire is diminished. Thus, in theory, a person might gain the ability to control their fetish and reasonably process their own thoughts without being distracted by sexual arousal. Also, the application may give the person relief in everyday life, enabling them to ignore the fetish and get back to daily routine. Other research has assumed that fetishes may be like obsessive-compulsive disorders, and has looked into the use of psychiatric drugs (serotonin uptake inhibitors and dopamine blockers) for controlling paraphilias that interfere with a person's ability to function.

Although ongoing research has shown positive results in single case studies with some drugs, e. g. with topiramate, there is not yet any medicament that tackles fetishism itself. Because of that, physical treatment is only suitable to support one of the psychological methods.

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook



•    Anonymous said… I do agree.. Maybe too, he is experiencing this pre occupation because of his anxiety about getting older and growing up, as we lnow Children on the spectrum do not like change and on a subconcious level wanting to be younger than he is, hence babies and Diapers?
•    Anonymous said… Is it possible there is anxiety about using the bathroom in public places and the interest in the diapers is not a fixation but a means to regulate his own anxiety and bowel comfort?
•    Anonymous said… Maybe he will develop a better diaper in the future. I always encourage my kids in their "fetishes" to take it to the next step. After all it's not the normal people that are boring that create new and exciting things for us
•    Anonymous said… This sure isnt easy being a parent to an Aspie and their forever changing little ways and obsessions ..wish there were more groups to learn and get tips and support !! Love him but my god i'm exhausted ♡
•    Anonymous said… Yr not alone. My son has a fixation on body parts and will comment on his own or others inappropriately and often completely out of context. He's an 8 year old aspie and It has me worried!
•    What does his "fetish" look like? What are his behaviors? Do you think the lying has something to do with the difficulty you are having dealing with this issue?

Post your comment below…


Anonymous said...

I have an aspergers son with the same fetish. I was shocked when I read your question as I am at my wit's end of what to do. I cannot deal with it and we have had no success so far with anyone who has tried to help. Please post if you have found an answer.

Anonymous said...

I have a son with mild cp who is 22 and has dealt with this issue for about 8 years. It has just recently surfaced again and needs to be addressed. We are looking at in patient programs in Mississippi and Arizona. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Parenting Aspergers Children - Support Group said...

Beth Quiles Has anyone explored the idea that perhaps it is the texture of the diaper that the child likes and not the diaper itself? My Aspie LOVES the stuffing out of stuffed animals and used to tear them apart to get to the stuffing. It is just a thought that I thought may be helpful :)
about an hour ago · Like
Adrianne Elmer-Melby Has anyone tried making your child WEAR diapers. Rather than try and steer them away from the fetish of diapers maybe try embracing their fetish with them and get them to try and wear diapers for a few days and provided they don't like it that could be the answer?? I don't know just a thought.
about an hour ago · Like
Andrea Ray Daley My Oldest child's fetish was Sergical Masks. He would spend hours googling pictures of seergical masks.
41 minutes ago · Like
Karen Elliott-Matney My son has had his fair share of fetishes for sure...however...I have found that if you embarrass them, or call them out on it, seemed like it only made it worse. So, now when I approach my son, I just make light of it, but explain why it isn't "normal" behavior and then try and give an example. Find out first though why the child has the fetish, because to you and I, it probably is really strange. But, to an ASPIE, they are probably trying to figure out the science of it. ASPIE's don't think like the typical person, don't forget, they are wired differantly ;)
39 minutes ago · Like · 1 person
Stacy Tudor Mitchell he lies because he's embarrassed! he's embarrassed because he shouldn't have to discuss his sexual preferences with his mother! Let him work this out with his counselor.
21 minutes ago · Like
Chris Peters my son's fetish is little girl's shoes, especially ugg boots and sparkly sneakers. we finally agreed that he needs to keep them private and buy them with his own allowance money and he can only use his own, never touch anybody else's shoes (hard for him not to). he also googles pics of fuzzy slippers or coats. I wish it would go out of fashion. he has said he finds them 'sexy'. and I know he is using them in a sexual capacity. it has been quite a challenge....
20 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

Hi there, my son was sexually aroused by images of animals passing wind. My son was very worried about it because he knew it was not "normal" to get aroused by this sort of thing. He felt deeply ashamed as well. I was proud of him for having the courage to discuss it with me and did my best to reassure him that pretty much anything is possible as far as human sexuality goes and that as long as one is not harming another person it was OK. He was reassured by this eventually. It seemed to be a phase of early puberty that he has now grown out of. I was privately very worried about it at the time, wondering if he was destined to spend his life alone, hiding his unusual sexual interest. I have no doubt something else may crop up before adulthood but I persist in the hope that it will all come right in the end. I think that reassuring your youngster, when reassurance is sought, is by far the best approach. I'm really glad this subject is being aired. It is a taboo area and I guess it is under-researched (for obvious reasons) but parents need to be able to discuss this crucial aspect of their children's lives without fear of betraying their children's trust, especially as the subject can fall outside our own experience of human sexuality, leaving us feeling somewhat at a loss and very much unable to share it with other parents.

Anonymous said...

My step son has Asperger's. He is 23 years old and spends the majority of his time on the internet masterbating to humans in leather bondage fetish gear images and sadomasochistic animal cartoons (furry hentai). His job and college attendance is suffering because of his all night obsessions. This leather BDSM fetish is consuming is life. Why anthropomorphic
animal cartoons?

Anonymous said...

Eft is perhaps the best therapy for dealing with unwanted fetishes, it's a lot more modern than stuff like psychotherapy and cbt.

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend has Aspergers and his fetish is watching/listening to women vomiting. It is beginning to affect our relationship and I am trying to find a way to help him become less obsessed with it.

Ben Perrin said...

I am a 14 year old boy (9th grade as of 2016) with Asperger's and ADHD and other things but I am also looking at fetishes like latex and straightjackets and other stuff and I'm obsessive when I'm not around my parents so I would not be to worried unless ur like me and looking into prices like I am(if anyone has good prices plz email me for real though I need stuff like that) and its like my un diagnosed ocd aslo if anyone wants to set up a kickstarter or gofundme page email me at

John Goetchius said...

It is my understanding that this concerns people because it is not "Normal" however we aspies are not "normal", we don't think, talk, walk, or do anything really all that "normal". I have spent most of my life trying to conform to what is "normal" but realized there is no such thing, "normal" is a label we made because, it is what everyone else "should" do in societies eyes. but they are wrong... I don't think your son's "Fetish" is wrong and telling him or showing him so, will only make him do it behind your back. Embrace it and help him feel ok. His Feelings are complex and can't really be understood. I know you think it's wrong but the question stands, Is he hurting anyone? is he hurting himself? is what he is doing Illegal? if the answer is not to all those then it not wrong, well maybe to you and others that think it's not normal... but to him it maybe, or maybe he is just experimenting. Try to keep an open mind, as if you are discovering a new world... His. I have been told my whole life that's not normal, when it came to people finding out i Wear Diapers (I have Urinary Incontinence from a car accident) but when i tell them why i wear then it makes sense. However though i wear for medical i was still judged, and that was not fair. 18 yrs of dealing with this and Aspergers has made me NOT "normal" to others because i don't act or look the same as everyone else... Don't judge him because of his likes or dislikes, Love him because he is yours.
I know it's not easy to parent an Aspie But it's even harder to BE an Apsie. no one knows what it's like except others like us. He, IS and Feels Alone, Show him you are there for him what ever he does or you WILL PUSH HIM AWAY. and that is almost as bad as killing him yourself. We Apsies don't have to die by some force of nature , or at the hand of other to be dead, we just have to be unloved to feel that way.

AquaBorn3 said...

Yea, let him, just experiment with it, its ok! He has a right.... i know as a child i was obsessed with bondage and still am, it has not gone away but it's kind of a private part of my life and i have needs but because of the society is, i am scared and recently, i got diagnosed eith autism spectrum disorder... it makes sense because these fetishes have a certain feeling or sensory imput to them... i guess we aspies love the sensory imput we get from the fetishes we have... and it's what kind of grounds us i think... it's physical and material... we feel the world in a more sensory way...

Scott Anderson said...

I am Asperger's it's a mixture sexual stemming from touching and feeling of others or self because of our extremely sensitive skin to touch and feel and then this case normal adolescent Behavior of puberty teen age stage growing up era our sensitive skin to touch Works in a dual form sensitivity to touch sexually and negatively reacting to touch when we are touched unexpectedly it's because why we often times jump when we are not aware of being touched what may seem a light touch to someone touching us unexpectedly is a very hard touch when we feel it and gives us a negative feeling of stemming

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