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Coping with Autism and Puberty

"How should I begin talking to my 12 year old autistic son (high functioning) about puberty?" 

Talking about sexuality with an HFA child needs to be straight forward. Autistic individuals 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 autism often comes an inability to control impulse behaviors. It is important to be proactive when preparing yourself and your child for puberty.

Teach him that it is okay to be a sexual being, but this is also a private time. Teach him about good touch versus bad touch so that he is not vulnerable. Let him know that you are comfortable (and work at it if you are not) with this type of conversation so that he can be comfortable too.

Sometimes it's difficult to accept this reality (i.e., that they are sexual beings) in our children, especially when they have a developmental challenge. Nonetheless, they need to understand their right to express their sexuality in appropriate ways, but they also need to understand the important of privacy. They 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.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

the same way you would with any child. Get a medical book and use proper terms and explain that it is natural and normal. I did it that way with my aspie daughter well before her period started and everything was fine. I find that if you don't make aspergers into a big problem all the time, the child accepts it and themselves much better.

Anonymous said...

our 13 yr old granddaughter wants to be treated like everyone else,she said i just think in different ways but i am hurt bye stares ,glares and mean words like everyone else.

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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to read the full article...

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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