Aspergers child's fascination with women's clothing...

Question

My son was dx with autism at 4yrs. and is now dx with Asperger Syndrome. Lots of therapy and support has helped the motor, speech, and hand flapping/toe walking. He has learned to do the repetitive behaviors mostly at home, since children tease so terribly. I am concerned with his fascination with women's clothing. He has always been drawn to the way in which fabrics move, such as skirts and capes. (He wore capes and a sparkly vest for years.) Lately, he's been wearing some of my blouses. I don't want to say anything that may make him feel badly about himself. However, I don't know what to do, since his classmates are so cruel. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer

Talk to him about it. If he is nonchalant or professes to enjoy the feeling of the fabric and such, then it is a non-issue. He simply likes how the under-things feel, and it is unlikely to be associated with a sexual obsession if he discusses it openly in this manner.

Whatever you do, don't put distance between yourself and him or make him feel like he has done something wrong. Wanting to wear nice feeling fabrics, or wanting to dress entirely, is not something that any amount of punishment, the silent treatment, or bible passages will cure. He will just feel guilty and despondent in private and learn not to go to you when he encounters other more important issues.

In perspective, it is harmless. He just needs to keep in mind that not everyone is as open minded as you, and thus he should avoid making choices in this area that lead to difficult situations, such as wearing girls' clothes outside or to school could get him beat up.


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