Aspergers Children & Sexual Behaviors

Individuals with autism are sexual beings, just as everyone else is. However, because of their inability to control all of their impulses, they may display behaviors that are inappropriate in public. This can be particularly difficult to deal with as it can be embarrassing for parents to deal with. This is something you will need to be direct and proactive about.

There are social aspects of sexuality that will need to be dealt with. You can use social stories to teach about sexuality as well as many other things. It is important that your child understand good touch/bad touch. They can be vulnerable in this area and you want them to be prepared in order to reduce their risk.

In order to be proactive, you will need to think ahead, and decide what is appropriate to teach your child at each stage of development. When talking about sexuality, use real terms. Individuals with autism do not pick up on social cues, so they need concrete terms about what you are talking about. Reinforce appropriate behavior, and when inappropriate behavior occurs (e.g., masturbating in public), redirect the child.

Plan ahead before going into the community. Let them know exactly what is expected of them while they are in the community. If your child is young and doesn't seem to comprehend, give them something else to keep their hands busy.

Using behavior modification techniques can be effective. For older children, adolescents, let them know that it is okay to do that, but it needs to be done in private. You need to decide that you will address the issue, and not avoid it.

Set aside some time with your child to talk about sexuality. If you only respond when an incident occurs you may be sending the wrong message to your child. Find out what your child knows about sexuality, again using direct questions. Find out if your child has concerns or fears about sexuality. 

Talk about what is "normal" sexual behavior, but also let them know what is inappropriate. Try to let your child know that you are comfortable and that it is okay to have sexual feelings and it is OK to talk about them. If you still have concerns, talk to your child's school. They may have some programs that can be helpful in teaching more about sexuality. Or you can seek the advice of a professional outside of the school.


Changing Your Aspie's Eating Habits

"My grandson has Asperger’s. He is age 7. His diet consists of cheese, eggs, bread, milk, juice, wieners, fish, hamburgers, chicken, mashed or French fried potatoes and, on occasion, chocolate and bananas. He will eat no pasta, vegetables, or any other fruit. Does this eating problem go along with Asperger’s? How can we get him to change his eating habits?"

Your grandson’s disorder may cause unusual reactions to new foods and he may not want to eat them. To him, they may taste bitter, salty, or just plain awful. They may smell bad (to him). He may dislike the textures of new foods. Consequently, he doesn’t want to eat foods that cause these reactions.

Compared to some other Aspies, your grandson’s diet is not that terrible. He gets protein from eggs, milk, cheese, wieners, fish, hamburger, and chicken  ...grains, which provide B vitamins, from bread and hamburger and hot dog buns  ...some vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, from juice, potatoes, chocolate, and bananas  ...and calcium and vitamin D from milk and cheese.

All in all, his diet could be worse and is not much different from what many neurotypical children eat. However, his diet would be more nutritious if he ate more fruits, vegetables, and grains. 

Perhaps he would try some whole grain cereals. Many Asperger's children like Life cereal or Cheerios. See if he likes popcorn, which is a whole grain (don’t load it up with a lot of butter, though). Try whole grain breads, hamburger and hot dog buns. He might like whole grain rice. Try it mixed in a cheese and chicken casserole. Most children like macaroni and cheese. See if he does. Try tacos made with whole grain tortillas, hamburger, and cheese. You might be able to sneak in some chopped tomato and onion. Use low fat hamburger and 1% milk.

See if he will drink different types of fruit juices. There are new ones on the market that are delicious and have a serving of fruit and one of vegetables in each glass. Many fruits may taste sour to him. If he likes cereal, slice half of a banana on it. Canned peaches and pears are sweet and may appeal to him. Cut up fruits into bite sized pieces so they are easy to eat. Don’t chastise him if he doesn’t eat them; maybe in the future he will. Make small apple or blueberry muffins. He might like them, too. Yogurt with fruit is an option you could try.

As far as vegetables are concerned, it may be an uphill road! But, sometimes vegetables can be hidden in other foods, for example, in those juices mentioned above. How about putting some onion in his hamburger? Potatoes are vegetables and he likes them! Try oven frying the French fries instead of frying in oil. Blend some cooked cauliflower into his mashed potatoes. He may not notice the difference. He may like sweet potatoes. He might like creamed corn or cornbread. Does he eat any soup, such as pea soup or vegetable? You could try tomato soup made with milk -- he might like it. If you put finely chopped, frozen carrots and peas in a chicken/cheese casserole, he might eat them. Avocado has a bland taste, and you could mix it into his hamburger patties.

It’s very important not to make “a big deal” about what he doesn’t eat. If you do, eating will become a power struggle. Offer various new foods along with ones he likes. If he doesn’t like them, don’t make an issue of it. Some battles aren’t worth constant fighting, especially when his diet isn’t too bad to begin with. Keep serving some new foods along with the old ones. Avoid serving soda pop and sweets so he doesn’t fixate on them.

My last suggestion is to make sure he has a multivitamin each day. Get one that is chewable, tastes good, and has a cute shape. Also, drinking Ensure or Pediasure is a good way to supplement his diet with vitamins and minerals.


•    Anonymous said... Ahh. The die game. It's typical. You just described my son, he just turned 8. Mostly salty or sweet stuff and mostly all carbs, thank god for eggs ad chicken. Yup, he's typical. If you can, prepare burgers with puréed veggies in them, be careful though, they have extremely sensitive palates and an detect any changes in the usual preparation. I put a beaten egg into chicken noodle soup to get extra protein. You gotta be discrete. Yogurt is good for the fruits, and dark chocolate is better, I feel for u, but, they are hard to change. And punishment isn't the answer, you are only required to provide food, it's up to him to eat it, he won't starve, remember that. You're awesome as a grand mom to be involved in his life like this, bless you:) if he tries one we thing a week, that's progress, just put a bit on his plate and say leave it there. Chances are they always try it;) in my experience. Good luck. And as long as he's thriving, he's ok.
•    Anonymous said... Exactly our issue here. We are starting food therapy on Sept.
•    Anonymous said... feeding therapy through OT
•    Anonymous said... Food issues are such a problem for my 7 year old she only weighs 30lbs. She has had problems eating since she was born. I couldnt nurse her and she wouldn't take a bottle easily. We had to give her pedisure for the longest time. We blended it like a smoothie and thankfully she likes strawberries. However pedisure is not cheap, so today I make her lots of smothies with whole milk, fresh fruit, strawberry powder, flax seeds, vitamin d oil, and multivitamins. She drinks this mixture 2x a day. And I keep the the fruit in the freezer so her drink is extra cold. I think her sensitivity is in her throat because she will actually start choking on anything that is not routine food for her, so the cold smoothie I think is vey soothing to her. The best advice I can give is to be patient and dont ever give up. Lately my daughter has been real interested in gardening, she wants to plant, grow, and eat her own fruits and veggies. Which is a huge leap forward for us. Hang in there it will get better.
•    Anonymous said... Get someone to tell him he needs to eat other things, we did this through the naturopath as my 8 year old is gluten and diary intollerant , I have two on the spectrum and definitely there is a huge change in behavior since changing diet, it is a known fact that most kids on the spectrum have a leaky gut and processed foods cause great discomfort for the person and in turn this causes irratation and bad moods
•    Anonymous said... Google Natasha Mcbride GAPS. Amazing stuff.
•    Anonymous said... I gave my kids the choice, they had to pick any 3 out of the whole spectrum of vegetables, and they had to agree to eat them whenever they were on their plate. We discussed what each type of food does for our bodies (meat makes me strong, rice gives me energy, carrots help me see, etc). Sometimes get a whinge out of them but they agreed to it and I feel that they have a balanced diet.
•    Anonymous said... I would be thrilled if my 12-year old son with Autism ate that much! He eats VERY few things and drinks ONLY chocolate milk and sweet tea. (I semi-jokingly say that the chocolate milk has kept him alive.) I also have to practically force him to eat, yes, his favorite things. It's like his body and his brain don't communicate with each other, so he doesn't even know he's hungry.
•    Anonymous said... I'd just be thankful for the protein here. My son has SOOO many allergies he's diet is limited.
•    Anonymous said... It can absolutely be related. Sensory issues on the spectrum can make eating an absolute chore. The villain isn't just taste either, texture can play a large part in the eating issues of spectrumites. Veggies and fruits are big culprits in this. Lots of them have tough textures, leaving a stringy feeling or tiny hard seeds, while others can be so mushy it can be likened to slime. Try lots of different cooking and preparation methods for each fruit/veg. When one method doesn't work, put it on the back burner and wait a bit before trying something else. Introduce the foods slowly, and one at a time. One thing that really helped with my son, is to encourage him to just try everything. I really emphasize that it is perfectly a-ok not to like something. Anytime he tries something new, he gets gigantic praise, even if he doesn't like it. It has taken a while, but I've found he actually has an interesting pallate (he LOVES beets, for example) Best of luck getting your kiddo to eat well
•    Anonymous said... It will come in time My daughter is almost 9 and the same way. They will be curious about new foods. My aspie feel that by repeating foods that she like is because she "knows" what to expect in taste and texture. She is sometimes afraid to try new foods because of not having another choice if she doesn't like it. Don't worry it'll change.
I have a friend who's kid is not on the spectrum at all and won't eat nothing but nuggets, hotdogs and pizza!
•    Anonymous said... Like the article answer said, his diet really isn't that bad...he eats fish, eggs and hamburger! The ONLY meat my son will eat is chicken, and only in the form of chicken nuggets/tenders. And they have to be specific kinds, he won't eat different kinds of chicken tenders he hasn't had before. He eats mac and cheese, but only specific kinds, if there is anything different about the noodles he won't touch them. He will eat grilled cheese, but only if made a certain way. Extremely limited as far as what he will try and how things have to be cooked/presented.
•    Anonymous said... Mine won't eat meat
•    Anonymous said... My 7 year old Aspie used to be very picky. He would only eat crackers and cheese for the longest time. Over time I have turned trying new foods into a game or told him that he had to try it at least once. If he didn't like it he didn't have to eat it. Ever since I started doing those two things he has really broadened his palette. His favorite thing is avocados! Who would have thought! The other thing I do is take advantage of his thirst for knowledge and show him how processed foods are made and what they contain and that quickly made him rethink his food choices. I hope some of these ideas help.
•    Anonymous said... My 9 yr olds son's diet is fairly limited too. Breakfast is probably the worst meal of the day. He will eat one thing every day for months until he's sick of it and then we have a battle to find something else to eat
•    Anonymous said... My almost 10 year old still eats a limited diet. The most frustrating is that he won't eat beef, chicken, or pork (and I cook a lot of chicken). If he eats any meat at all, it's processed. On a good note though, he loves fruits and veggies. He is on the skinny side for sure but he is healthy. We don't do food battles in this house. I spent too much time with him standing over the sink throwing up when he was little by trying to force the issue. He has added a small amount of foods over the years (but not many).
•    Anonymous said... My aspie daughter has tons of sensory issues. she was seen for two years by a kenesiologist to help de-sensitize her to these things. among them are several food such a almost all fruit. His suggestion was to offere the healthy foods and not the unhealthy foods and when she was hungry enough she would eat. We made it mandatory that she ate 1 strawberry or 2 raspberries, 1 piece of broccoli before she got to eat anything else. We served it on a separate plate with only the veggie on it and told her once she eats that small portion she could have the rest of the meal. I sat there with her until she did, the rest of us would eat our full supper. If she chose not to eat her meal and was hungry later then her food was waiting for her. The rule was, you don't have to like it, but you do have to eat it to be healthy. I made sure it was never punitive. If she made a fit at the table she went to bed until she was ready to comply. Bad manners at the table has never been tolerated in our home. A child having apergers still needs to be taught appropriate behaviour and not to be allowed to scream and throw tantrums and be demanding. My aspie is not 15 and she knows how to behave as I taught her the same way I taught her non-aspie sister who has ADHD and ODD. We use behaviour Modification Therapy here. Even as teens. The sooner you start teaching your child what is appropriate and what is not, the easier the battle, I started with my kids as soon as they are aged 2. Children's aid was so impressed that they approved our homestudy to adopt a child with fetal alcohol and prenatal drug effects who is possibly on the ASD. She is now five and has many challenges accepting limitations but I am doing exactly what I did with my older two and we are currently in the process of adopting from Children's Aid again. We are looking at a sibling group under 5 with special needs. You teat them as a non-challenged child but with eyes and heart open to the increased difficulty and challenges they face. The onus is on the Adult to remain calm, be consistent and fair and to not make excuses because they have Aspergers. If the parents fully accept their child for who they are, the child will accept themselves and you will have a happier and better behaved child.
•    Anonymous said... My boy ate nothing until 2.5 years, lived on milk hated textures. Meal times were a nightmare! He was underweight for awhile so I let him eat what ever he wanted, then we changed his diet to organic and gluten free. He loves sushi, salmon and vege is his favourite and yesterday (he's 7) he said he loves meat after declaring at 3 to be a vegetarian superhero. So stick with it, talking to him about how his body works and the fuel it needs really helps I think he is sensitive to chemicals, he can sniff them out as hard as it is going organic and gluten free I believe "fixed" the problem, he notices the difference at school etc so he is happy to stick with it
•    Anonymous said... My daughter's diet is limited but thankfully, fairly healthy. Grocery shopping is pretty easy...as long as they don't stop carrying those essential items!
•    Anonymous said... My grandson is 19 yrs old. He has ate chicken strips his whole life. Sometimes tacos. No fruits . Only green beans n any potatoes except baked.
•    Anonymous said... My son eats everything! He was eating salad before he was 1 year old. I always wondered if it had anything to do with what he was fed when we started solid foods. He did not get "jarred baby food" I made his food. After fruits and veggies were introduced I went strait to pureeing what we had for dinner. My daughter on the other hand who is not AS had "jarred baby food" because I was working at the time and it was just easier. She is extremely picky and won't touch the food if she doesn't think she will like it. She just recently started trying foods and eating more veggies. She has always ate fruit.
•    Anonymous said... My son Is the same way except he will not eat even if he does get hungry.
•    Anonymous said... My son would eat fruit 24 hours a day if I would let him. He used to eat everything but salmon and when he got MRSA and started showing signs of Autism his diet changed overnight. We've been working hard for years to get him to eat his food that we cook and we all eat. There are somethings we might have to adjust from what the rest of us are eating. But any food that is white he won't touch and he likes his veggies HAVE to be raw not cooked. Like I'll make his own sauce separate from what we eat. Ours son's school started this thing called Say Yes to No. The Idea is getting them to do things or say yes to things they would normally say no to. Or accept a response of being told no. He gets a star that we put his name on and he takes it back to school and the stars are put in a jar and at the end of the week a star is drawn and the kids get a prize. At home when we do it, if he gets so many we go do something of his choice whether it be a movie, going out to eat ect. It does make a difference on the yes to no.
•    Anonymous said... oh yes this went on for a long time. I stioll give my non aspie V8 fusion. I also puree veggies into pasta sauce
•    Anonymous said... Our 10 year old diet eats a good variety of food I think, but nothing can touch, no sauce or gravy etc as that makes food touch, it has to be the same brands he always has and food has to be cooked a certain way I.e his sausages must be grilled he will not eat them barbequed, trout and salmon must be wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven, not grilled or pan fried or steamed etc. if his food touched, was a different brand or cooked the wrong way it would cause a panic like reaction and retching.
•    Anonymous said... Thank you all for your comments. My 7 year old son is the same as the one mentioned in the original statement. Food is a constant issue (not a war, because it is one battle I don't want to deal with everyday), but my family is concerned. And now he needs to lose some weight because of what he eats. It is very difficult, so I thank you for all your suggestions!!!
•    Anonymous said... that is not uncommon - Aspies often have rigid food limitations and it can be hard to get them to bend. I suggest getting one of the cook books about how to sneak veg and fruit into a kids food without them knowing - one was done by Seinfeld's wife, I know that. My son got much more flexible on some things as he got older, especially when they are getting into puberty - their appetite can expand their tastes, too. Just keep trying to introduce other foods, maybe in some combination with the ones he likes - like make strawberry milk with his milk, and some natural sweetener like xylosweet and strawberries - just strain out the seeds before you serve it to him - like a thin smoothie - he might like it - then you can expand that to other fruits, and that is an easy way to sneak in a bit of veg like kale and such, too. Home baked breads are a good way to sneak stuff in, too!
•    Anonymous said... The doctor actually told us as long as there is bread and water on the table. They will be fine!
•    Anonymous said... The thing I do with my son is give him the motivation to try something new. We discuss healthy eating etc and he knows he's not allowed dessert until he's eaten most of his dinner. It's not a quick fix. It takes time to logically discuss and find that motivator. I'm lucky my son is so rigid about having dessert!
•    Anonymous said... This is very common, oversensitivity to flavors, smells textures. My son (8) has just now started eating "normal" food (cheese pizza, chow mein, steak, and a wide variety of vegetables) - before he at pasta, plain bread, cereal, apples, carrots, cheese, and protein bars (no meat, no other dairy, no other produce, nothing with sauce, no sandwiches, no peanut butter...) I had to supplement with calcium and multivitamins. I agonized over this for many years, the only thing you can do is wait. The list you provided is not that bad, so try not to worry. Find a good, whole food organic fruit/veggie supplement at the health food store if you're worried about the lack of fresh fruit and veggies. Check what their return policy, good supplements are expensive, if he doesn't like it, take it back and keep trying until you find one he likes.
•    Anonymous said... We use rewards as for trying new foods and after a while he begins to like the foods. As for being sneaky, he loves v8 juices and we do give him that to drink at least he gets some veggies and fruits that way.
•    Anonymous said... When our 15 year old is exposed to a new situation I have to preface that he only eats "white" foods. He use to call himself a carb piranha. He will eat bananas and apples, when peeled. Very typical and we sneak in the protein with peanut butter and protein bars. Thank goodness we started him on balance bars as a two year old!!
•    Anonymous said... Wow he eats a really varied diet compared to my grandkids!
•    Anonymous said... wow what an insightful child you have! Is that because they know it is an animal? Very inspiring!
•    Anonymous said... Wow! I think your lucky! We are basically chicken strips, fish sticks, and cheese pizza here. And he is brand and restaurant specific. Only certain brands and only certain things at certain place. It drives me insane! A lot of it is a texture thing. He is currently doing OT to try and help with that. He likes the taste of canned peaches but cannot eat them without choking and gagging. He doest like the "slippery" fruits.
•    Anonymous said... wow! that is a GREAT diet! I wish my son ate such a variety. My son just eats certain pasta, pizza, chicken nuggets and certain cereals. Sometimes a banana or apple. He also likes certain cakes or pringles. But that's it. I wish he ate fish and drank juice or milk.
•    Anonymous said... You asked if this eating problem goes along with Aspergers...Welcome to the World of Autism. Yes, indeed it does.
•    Anonymous said... your very lucky my kid only eats grilled cheese,pizza,cereal, milk,french fries,pancakes I cant get him to eat any meats

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