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Aspergers Teens and Sexuality

"I need help in teaching my daughter appropriate sexual behavior. She will be 16 in June, has Asperger’s, and acts out sexually. She feels this is what she is 'supposed' to do when she likes a boy, and I just can’t get her to feel moral values."

A 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s will have a fully developed female body, but it is unlikely that she will have a full understanding of adolescent sexuality. Depending on her exposure to popular media, she may have formulated an impression of sexuality from the licentious “celebrities” that have become well-known for their use of drugs and alcohol and their fickle, promiscuous sexual behavior. Your daughter could very well believe that behaviors such as candid flirtation, physical sexual cues, sexual language, and sexual activity are what she, as you say, is supposed to do when she likes a boy. The media sends this message loud and clear!

Your daughter needs the advice of a professional counselor now as she is exhibiting behavior that could lead to very severe consequences. In addition to the negative effects of the media, teenagers with Asperger’s do not acquire “street smarts” when it comes to dating or sex. As a result, they are na├»ve and misinformed about sex.

Your daughter is an adolescent, and she wants to develop an identity separate from yours. One aspect of this development is challenging your thoughts and beliefs. When this happens, many parents feel that they have to be friends with their teenagers in order to keep calm in the home. In doing so, they abdicate their parental responsibility, and children suffer in the process. Your daughter still needs to have clearly defined rules while she is living in your home. You know the possible negative consequences of overtly sexual behavior, she does not. Impose specific rules with her. Considering the situation, she shouldn’t be alone with boys or go on dates without an adult who accompanies and supervises.

She may not understand why you are imposing rules. So you need to stress that they are for her benefit, now and in the future, and explain why in very specific terms (e.g., to protect her from sexual diseases, HIV/AIDS, and pregnancy). She needs to understand not just what the consequences of sexual activity are, but what will happen if she gets a venereal disease, HIV/AIDS, or gets pregnant. This will be far more meaningful to her than vague advice about “morality.”

It is imperative that you teach your daughter about sex. She needs specific details about responsible sexual behavior and the consequences of reckless intimacy. Start with basic sex education and move on from there. Freely expressing her sexual feelings because she thinks it is the only way to be accepted and loved must be countered with facts about sexual consequences and information on more appropriate ways to be accepted by boys.

The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide


•    Anonymous said... the woman throwing the Bible in our face needs to step off of her pedestal. Hypersexuality is a medical condition. My daughter goes to a Catholic school, reads the bible, and goes to church twice a week. Religion has nothing to do w her impulse control issues that cause the hypersexuality!!!!
•    Anonymous said... Have you tried to be very blunt. You do that he will want to and probably will even when you dont want or want to stop.
•    Anonymous said... I have a 16yo Aspie in similar situation. I tell her that boys are scum. They will tell you whatever you want to hear so you'll do whatever they want and when you do they'll tell everyone they know. Probably not the best approach but still. My daughter has trouble with social queues so any slight interest in her makes her feel that you love her... I'm open to any suggestions also
•    Anonymous said... I have a son and we have had many discussions on sex, consequences of sex, being prepared for sex, etc. it is not easy but having many conversations, videos and other material does help. Remember that our aspies learn more by reapeated lessons or behavior.
•    Anonymous said... I have to disagree with your idea here, (though I do agree with being blunt, just not in the same way). That sounds a lot like victim-blaming to me. Having sex with someone once does not give that person the right to their body whenever they please. Explaining it to her that way opens her up to blaming herself were she ever to be raped. She needs to understand that her body is her own, that even if she does consent once-it doesn't make it okay for someone to take as they please. On the contrary, I think you would do her better to explain that everyone feels those urges, and there is a social stigma to not keeping yourself from following them all the time. Explain that everyone has their own responsibility to respect their own body, and to share it only with those that deserve it. Perhaps some stories about what a "deserving" partner would be like, and stories that show what really *is* expected of a girlfriend her age would help. I imagine she's getting her ideas from tv and movies, like most teens, and is getting a very over-romantic idea of what teen relationships are. The difference is her NT counterparts can more easily wade through what is reasonably expectable and what isn't. Good luck
•    Anonymous said... My daughter is 10 and we've dealt w the hypersexuality already...not looking forward to when she's a teen
•    Anonymous said... not trying to make light of the situation ....not at first thought though was we should introduce our kids when my son is a bit older....high functioning....13....and thinks the sex act....his only for procreation and is disgusting....ugh....

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Sensory Stimulation for Children on the Autism Spectrum

"I hear a lot about 'sensory stimulation' for children with autism and other spectrum disorders. Why? Is this something all parents should be doing for their autistic child? And how do you go about it?"

Children on the autism spectrum really benefit from sensory stimulation. Stimulating the senses has a positive effect on learning as well as emotional and social growth in the child. 
Sensory stimulation in learning means having activities that challenge the five senses. These senses (touch, taste, smell, listening, and visual) should be included in the child's learning. 

Schools incorporate sensory stimulation in their curriculum via the basics of math and reading, special classes such as art, and extracurricular activities such as sports. The same is true for students on the autism spectrum.

Providing a sensory room (or area) can be very effective. Be as creative as you can when providing sensory stimulation for your child. There are many things you can purchase, but you can also make many things yourself. What you use should in part be determined by what your child enjoys or is seeking.

Some ideas are: 
  • A mini trampoline can provide physical exercise and sensory input.
  • Create a touch board, and attach a variety of materials from sand paper to carpet.
  • Fill a tub with sand, navy beans, or other similar item that they can play in.
  • Find different scents of potpourri that they can use for deep breathing.
  • Hang a swing from your ceiling (if it is reinforced).
  • Have music playing that your child enjoys - this can be calming music or vigorous music.
  • String blinking Christmas lights around the room.
  • Use a hammock for the child to lay in and receive deep pressure.
  • Use a variety of lotions for both scent and touch.
  • Use a vibrating massage-machine for deep touch.
  • Use play dough for touch activities.

    The purpose of this room is to waken your child's senses. It also helps him or her to calm down (when needed). It's most effective to create a schedule of when the child will be provided free time in this room. It's probably NOT best to give him or her free access to the sensory room. It's best to use the room at transition times to provide a smooth transition, or as a reward for meeting the expectations of parents (and teachers).

    Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

    ==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD

    Resources for Neurodiverse Couples:

    ==> Online Group Therapy for Men with ASD

    ==> Online Group Therapy for NT Wives

    ==> Living with ASD: eBook and Audio Instruction for Neurodiverse Couples 

    ==> One-on-One Counseling for Struggling Individuals & Couples Affected by ASD

    ==> Online Group Therapy for Couples Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

     ==> Cassandra Syndrome Recovery for NT Wives

    ==> ASD Men's MasterClass: Social-Skills Training and Emotional-Literacy Development

    ==> Pressed for time? Watch these "less-than-one-minute" videos for on the go.



    • Anonymous said...What about for the child (teenager) who doesn't like sensory stim? Who doesn't like to be touches, but is over-stimulated, yet has no interest in doing these things?!!
    •  Anonymous said...My ASD little boy nearly 5 had trouble settling down at night. We were advised last year by his nursery SENCO worker to use sensory play before bedtime, 20 minutes. It definitely made an improvement. From 2 hours to 30-45 minutes. I'll try the others on your list. Great article. Thank you.
    •  Anonymous said...Exactly what I did was fill the bathroom sink for water play or set the play dough table up. It was quite a different concept to the bath,bed book routine I've done for years with his older sisters. Play? Before bed?!! But it definitely calmed him. Also he started on omega 3 6 9 I believe this helps also. Lavender essential oil on his pillow too. He enjoys building mario worlds with blocks and figures lately, its ok to play before bed!!
    •  munckinsmommy said...My son is the same way sometimes...he needs to be grounded sensory wise. Try having him wear something that will give deep pressure like a heavy back pack or something tell him it will help him build muscles to attract girls....or use headphones....the cool kind other kids wear to block out sound....see if you can have them tailored to put in sound blocking naterial

    How To Use An Effective Reward System For Aspergers Children

    “I have a ten-year-old boy with who is high functioning. We are consistent with making him aware of what is socially unacceptable and why. It seems to go in one ear and out the other though. For instance, at meal time we always tell him to eat with his mouth closed. He will do as we say for 20 seconds and then he’s right back to chewing with his mouth open. We have sent him to eat in the other room, or we take away dessert if he continues after the fourth prompt. We have had no success for the past 2 years! Do you have any ideas or do you think that it’s something he can’t help?”

    Click here for the answer...

    Best Treatment for High-Functioning Autism

    "What would be the best treatment for my child with high functioning autism?"

    The main goals of treatment are to lessen associated deficits and family distress, and to increase quality of life and functional independence. No single treatment is best, and treatment is typically tailored to the child's needs.

    Intensive, sustained special education programs and behavior therapy early in life can help these kids acquire self-care, social, and job skills, and often improve functioning and decrease symptom severity and maladaptive behaviors. Claims that intervention "must" occur before the age of three for it to be effective are not substantiated.

    Available approaches include: 
    • applied behavior analysis
    • developmental models
    • structured teaching
    • speech and language therapy
    • social skills therapy
    • occupational therapy 

    Educational interventions have some effectiveness. Intensive ABA treatment has demonstrated effectiveness in enhancing global functioning in preschool kids and is well-established for improving intellectual performance. 

    Many medications are used to treat problems associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). More than half of U.S. kids diagnosed with ASD are prescribed psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsants, with the most common drug classes being antidepressants, stimulants, and anti-psychotics.

    There is scant reliable research about the effectiveness or safety of drug treatments for individuals with ASD. A child or teen with ASD may respond atypically to medications, the medications can have adverse effects, and no known medication relieves ASD's core symptoms of social and communication difficulties.

    Although many alternative therapies and interventions are available, few are supported by scientific studies. Treatment approaches have little empirical support in quality-of-life contexts, and many programs focus on success measures that lack predictive validity and real-world relevance. Scientific evidence appears to matter less to service providers than program marketing, training availability, and parent requests.

    Though most alternative treatments (e.g., melatonin) have only mild adverse effects, some may place the child at risk. One study found that, compared to their peers, boys with ASD have significantly thinner bones if on casein-free diets. And in 2005, botched chelation therapy killed a five-year-old child with Autism.

    Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

    ==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD
    What parents have to say:
    • Anonymous said...Why does Aspergers need to be treated? It's not a disease like juvenile diabetes where without insulin the child will die!!!! Aspergers is an exceptionality!! The child needs to be loved,taught and supported not cured. The public needs to be educated. The parents who need to treat or cure their autistic child need to accept their child and help then develop to their full potential just like any other child. I wouldn't change a single thing about my Aspie! She wouldn't be the great person she is without it. We need to celebrate Autism not make it something shameful. How can we expect others to accept our child if we don't accept them ourselves? Parents need to be ok with who their child is so the child can accept who they are. When that happens, society will accept them too. Acceptance begins at home with the parents.
    • Anonymous said... If your deciding factor for treating a medical conditions is only to prevent the patient from dying, of course not, it should not be treated. However, if a significant improvement can be made in the quality of life of the child (as well as any individual with a disorder) you will find that most people would favor safe effective treatments for any non-life treathening diorder.
    • Anonymous said...Why does Aspergers need to be treated? Because my 17-year-old daughter spends her life in her room instead of doing any of the things girls her age should be doing.
    • Tasha said...I am not looking for something to cure Aspergers but something to help my son focus so that he can do his school work. Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks
    • Unknown said...I need medication:((( I'm only 11 and am really depressed:(( can anyone help meee!? parents don't support me they just think I'm stupid.. any advice??
    • Unknown said... You're a very bright young lady. I'm sorry your parents don't understand. My daughter is 12 & we are learning more about high functioning autism and aspergures. Don't give up. You're important & things will get better.

    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...