Search This Site


Aspergers and Insecure Attachments


Our foster son was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 3 years. When he was 3 1/2, he was taken into foster care and placed with us because of his mother's physical and mental health issues. She has since passed away. He is now 12 years old. He has come a long way with his autism and is a loving, verbal boy who interacts well with adults and children for the most part. He attends a regular public school with full-time support of an educational assistant in the classroom.

Over the past two years approximately, he has developed an issue with diapers and underwear. He will find a diaper (new or used) and urinate in it, sometimes leaving it in the bathroom, other times hiding it somewhere. He does the same thing with underwear - his own or other people's, especially that of younger children. He sometimes puts on 5 or 6 pair of his own undershorts at a time - and sometimes urinates in them, or not - just seems to like the way it feels to wear multiple pairs at once. We have grandchildren and have also had younger foster children in our home, so he has access to diapers and underwear. He feels bad when this happens and usually tells me about it when we are going through our bedtime routine. He is confused about this behaviour and angry with himself for doing it and that he cannot control it. We have talked about what he can do if he feels the urge - get busy with another activity, come and talk to me, etc. When the urge hits, it seems to overpower all reason. The incidents often occur when our routine is disrupted or there is stress of some kind - for example, it happened several times before, during and after a recent trip out of the country.

I am wondering if counselling would help. Could this behaviour possibly be related to neglect experienced in his baby years? Any insight on the reasons for this fixation and strategies for addressing it would be welcome.


There are certainly a number of issues with the way he is developing. A combination of some cognitive-behavioral therapy for him and some parent guidance for you may well make a difference. The sorts of behaviors you describe are often a result of inadequate parenting during the early years. Inadequate parenting results in children who feel vulnerable and insecure and who do not have solid attachments to others.

Click here for important information on Reactive Attachment Disorder.

1 comment:

Bulldogma said...

I find this interesting... my 7-year-old daughter has Aspergers. We have had her and loved her unconditionally from the day she was born. We held her almost non-stop as an infant (she was very colicky) and she has never been away from us...

But we have experienced unusual urination issues also. They are a bit different - she wears pull-ups at night and has never had a dry night, but she will also urinate in containers, bags, purses and even in her play tea set. It doesn't happen as often any more, but has happened as recently as a month ago. She doesn't do it out of anger - it's more like a compulsion and she can't explain why she does it. (She also has a wide variety of other compulsive behaviors we're trying to work though.)

There is no question in my daughter's case of attachment issues. She has never been abused or neglected.

So... I wonder...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here for the full article...

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.

Click here to read the full article…

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."

Click here to read the full article…

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.

Click here
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.

Click here for the full article...