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ASD Children and Puberty

"What's the best way to approach the topic of "the birds and the bees" with my child on the autism spectrum? He will be 12 next week."

Puberty is a difficult time for all preteens and teens, but especially for those who are developmentally challenged, such as children with ASD or High-Functioning Autism. As a parent, you need to prepare yourself - and your child - for this event.

Talking about sexuality with these children needs to be straight forward. These kids do not pick up on social cues, therefore when talking about sexuality, it is important to use concrete terms.

Use real terms to describe what you are talking about. Expect that your child will be a sexual being, and understand that with a diagnosis of ASD often comes an inability to control impulse behaviors.

It is important to be proactive when preparing yourself and your child for puberty. Teach him/her that it is okay to be a sexual being, but this is also a private time. Teach them about good touch versus bad touch so that they are not vulnerable. Let them know that you are comfortable (and work at it if you are not) with this type of conversation so that they can be comfortable too.

It is often difficult to accept this reality in our special needs children, especially when they have a developmental disorder. It is difficult to accept the reality of the expression of sexual needs in our preteens and teens, especially when it seems like it was only yesterday that they were learning to tie their shoes.

They need to understand their right to express their sexuality through masturbation, but also need to understand the important of privacy. They also need to understand that sexuality, while a social behavior, is constrained by social rules. And they need skills to enable them to behave acceptably in open society.

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Anonymous said...

We need a lot of conscious when we talk about sexuality. Previous mental preparation will be helpful for better performance. Otherwise it may create danger.

Anonymous said...

Mine is only 12, and I’m wondering the same thing, although he acts like he’s already 18 at times.

Anonymous said...

You may be experiencing regular teenage stuff at this point - coupled with Aspergers, it's no fun.

Anonymous said...

my son is 12 with hfa.i have always been very honest with him about sex.ive always used the proper words + names for body parts.i dont believe in 'babying' things up for children weather they are autistic or not.

Anonymous said...

I thank God for you guys, I have learned so much.

Anonymous said...

Tell it like it is,most Aspies get it

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

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Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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