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Aspergers Children and Sexual Fetishism

Question

Overall, my Aspergers son has been a good kid. Loves going to school (but all through elementary school had bullying issues). Seems better this year in high school (he chose a new school). He has Asperger's syndrome (terrible social skills...yet loves to be social, but can't fit in). He has always been extremely "strong willed". I am at my wits end....he lies to me (minor things), he is disrespectful to myself and his dad, he starts and will not give in to numerous arguments (until we tell him he is right and we are wrong....this can go on for hours). The worse thing is that now he seems to have developed a fetish...he is stealing diapers and I don't know what is going on. This last thing has now distanced myself from him....I cannot deal with this, nor do I know how..He looks up pictures of diapers on internet (when he is supposed to be doing internet homework projects), then he lies about it when I ask him why he is on these sights. It is him, because there is no one else. Therapists are out, unless we know something about them, they can mess you up more than help, unless they are good.

Can you help?

Desperate mom


Answer

Sexual fetishism, or erotic fetishism, is the sexual arousal brought on by any object, situation or body part not conventionally viewed as being sexual in nature. Sexual fetishism may be regarded, e.g. in psychiatric medicine, as a disorder of sexual preference or as an enhancing element to a relationship. The sexual acts involving fetishes are characteristically depersonalized and objectified, even when they involve a partner. Body parts may also be the subject of sexual fetishes (also known as partialism) in which the body part preferred by the fetishist takes a sexual precedence over the owner.

Psychologists and medical practitioners regard fetishism as normal variations of human sexuality. Even those orientations that are potential forms of fetishism are usually considered unobjectionable as long as all people involved feel comfortable. Only if the diagnostic criteria presented in detail below are met is the medical diagnosis of fetishism justified. The leading criteria are that a fetishist is ill only if he or she suffers from the addiction, not simply because of the addiction itself.

The diagnostic criteria for fetishism are as follows:
  • Unusual sexual fantasies, drives or behavior occur over a time span of at least six months. Sometimes unusual sexual fantasies occur and vanish by themselves; in this case any medical treatment is not necessary.
  • The affected person, her object or another person experience impairment or distress in multiple functional areas. Functional area refers to different aspects of life such as private social contacts, job, etc. It is sufficient for the diagnosis if one of the participants is being hurt or mistreated in any other way.

There are two possible treatments for fetishism: cognitive therapy and psychoanalysis, though treatment is not usually necessary. Both may be complemented by additional treatments.

Cognitive therapy—

Cognitive therapy seeks to change a person's behavior without analyzing how and why it has shown up. It is based on the idea that fetishism is the result of conditioning or imprinting.

One possible therapy is aversive conditioning, in which the person is confronted with his fetish and as soon as sexual arousal starts, is exposed to a displeasing stimulus. It is reported that in earlier times painful stimuli such as electric shocks have been used as aversive stimulus. Today a common aversive stimulus are photographs that show unpleasing scenes such as penned in genitals. In a variant called assisted aversive conditioning, an assistant releases abominable odors as an aversive stimulus.

Another possible therapy is a technique called thought suppression, in which the therapist asks the patient to think of the fetish and suddenly cries out "stop!". The patient will be irritated, their line of thought broken. After analyzing the effects of the sudden break together, the therapist will teach the patient to use this technique by him or herself to interrupt thoughts about the fetish and thus avoid the undesired behavior.

Psychoanalysis—

Psychoanalysis tries to find the traumatic unconscious experience that has caused the fetish. Bringing this unconscious knowledge to a conscious state and, by enabling the person to work out the trauma rationally and emotionally, may relieve the person from the problems. Unlike cognitive therapy, psychoanalysis tackles the cause itself.

There are various techniques available for the analyzing process, including talk therapy, dream analysis and play therapy. Which method will be chosen depends upon the problem itself, the person's attitude and reactions to certain methods and the therapist's education and preference. This type of treatment is rarely used.

Medication—

Various pharmaceutical drugs are available that inhibit the production of sex steroids, especially male testosterone and female estrogen. By cutting down the level of sex steroids, sexual desire is diminished. Thus, in theory, a person might gain the ability to control their fetish and reasonably process their own thoughts without being distracted by sexual arousal. Also, the application may give the person relief in everyday life, enabling them to ignore the fetish and get back to daily routine. Other research has assumed that fetishes may be like obsessive-compulsive disorders, and has looked into the use of psychiatric drugs (serotonin uptake inhibitors and dopamine blockers) for controlling paraphilias that interfere with a person's ability to function.

Although ongoing research has shown positive results in single case studies with some drugs, e. g. with topiramate, there is not yet any medicament that tackles fetishism itself. Because of that, physical treatment is only suitable to support one of the psychological methods.



COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said… I do agree.. Maybe too, he is experiencing this pre occupation because of his anxiety about getting older and growing up, as we lnow Children on the spectrum do not like change and on a subconcious level wanting to be younger than he is, hence babies and Diapers?
•    Anonymous said… Is it possible there is anxiety about using the bathroom in public places and the interest in the diapers is not a fixation but a means to regulate his own anxiety and bowel comfort?
•    Anonymous said… Maybe he will develop a better diaper in the future. I always encourage my kids in their "fetishes" to take it to the next step. After all it's not the normal people that are boring that create new and exciting things for us
•    Anonymous said… This sure isnt easy being a parent to an Aspie and their forever changing little ways and obsessions ..wish there were more groups to learn and get tips and support !! Love him but my god i'm exhausted ♡
•    Anonymous said… Yr not alone. My son has a fixation on body parts and will comment on his own or others inappropriately and often completely out of context. He's an 8 year old aspie and It has me worried!
•    What does his "fetish" look like? What are his behaviors? Do you think the lying has something to do with the difficulty you are having dealing with this issue?

Post your comment below…

Teaching Kids with Aspergers: Tips for Educators

Aspergers (high functioning autism) is a neurological disease typically diagnosed in kids ages two to four. It is a form of functional autism that largely affects a person's communication and social skills. Some kids with Aspergers must be placed in special education classrooms, while others function relatively well in standard education classes.

In my tenure of teaching, I have taught sixteen kids with Aspergers, and it has been both a challenging and rewarding experience. Kids with Aspergers often have discipline problems and have trouble interacting with other kids, but they are usually quite bright. In fact, their IQ's are sometimes approaching genius level, and many are youngster prodigies in one area or another. Many take to memorizing facts, which has earned them the affectionate nickname of "little professors."

The complications with working with kids who have Aspergers are two-fold. On the one hand, many teachers are uncomfortable with the quirks and idiosyncrasies of Aspergers kids, and they have trouble communicating with the students beyond their limitations. At the same time, teachers must also deal with other students' reactions to a youngster with Aspergers.

Characteristics of Kids with Aspergers—

As with many other behavioral disorders, symptoms of Aspergers vary among those who have it. Here are some common behaviors that you might notice:

1. An extremely reliable memory.
2. Avoiding eye contact.
3. Clumsiness
4. Consistent adherence to routines and schedules.
5. Constant reiteration of facts and figures related to subjects that interest them.
6. Higher comfort level with adults than with peers.
7. Inability to grasp implied meanings.
8. Lack of control of facial expression.
9. Misunderstanding directions.
10. Over-eagerness to answer questions or participate in classroom activities.
11. Pedantic way of speaking.
12. Preoccupation with a specific subject
13. Taking expressions literally.

A youngster with Aspergers may have only one of these symptoms, or he or she might suffer from them all. Aspergers can be diagnosed in a wide range of severity.

Research—

The first time a youngster with Aspergers was placed in my classroom, I was informed about it during the summer by my Assistant Principal. He called to let me know a little bit about the youngster, and gave me a few brochures about the disease. He wanted to be sure that I was comfortable with the arrangement - which I was - and I thought that he handled the situation very professionally.

If you are not given the same courtesy, or if you are concerned about teaching a youngster with Aspergers, do your research. Understanding the disorder is foremost in learning how to most effectively teach a student.

You might also speak to your school guidance counselor and see if he or she has any literature on the subject. Your local library should have books about Aspergers, as should your local bookstore.

Parents—

In any situation like this, your best resource is the youngster's parents. They shouldn't mind your calling or requesting a meeting to discuss their youngster's specific symptoms of Aspergers, and to pick their brains about what works best. They will invariably have little tidbits of information to share that will assist in everyday activities with their youngster, and they will be grateful for your concern and attention.

Classroom Activities—

You are likely to discover that kids with Aspergers are not dim-witted at all, but actually rather intelligent. In this respect, they are easier to handle than kids with other disorders. They invariably understand that they have a condition, and might even be aware of their uncommon habits, but are simply unable to control it themselves. Knowing this, you can work with them in the classroom to maintain order.

1. Preoccupation—I had one student four years ago who was quite intelligent and also quite sweet, but had a habit of shouting out statistics about car crashes at random. He had researched car crashes, crash test ratings and safety reports, and knew everything there was to know about the subject. I loved his enthusiasm, but it wasn't helpful when he would blurt out statistics in the middle of English class. If you observe this behavior, be kind but firm. Every time he or she goes off-topic or talks out of turn, ask him or her a question related to the subject you are teaching. For example, every time my student would shout out a statistic, I would ask him to list the main characters in the book we were reading. It worked quite well.

2. Other Kids—This is a decision that must be made with the youngster and parents, but I have found it enormously helpful if the youngster with Aspergers explains to the class what Aspergers is. Twelve of my sixteen Aspergers students have agreed to stand in front of the class and take questions about their condition. This works only in high school age kids - not elementary or junior high, because of maturity - but it is highly effective. Using this method, the other students become comfortable with Aspergers and are unlikely to tease or to be mean to the student. At the same time, it helps the student with Aspergers to become comfortable talking about his or her condition, and to feel confident when interacting with his or her peers.

3. Misunderstandings—If you find that the student has trouble understanding what other people are saying - taking literal interpretations of expressions, for example - be proactive in explaining things to him or her. You might discover that other students in the classroom are put off by this behavior, but simply step in if you see a problem. Take control of your classroom in this way, and be there when assistance is needed.

4. Impulsiveness—Many kids with Aspergers are very impulsive, and want very much to participate. They will eagerly raise their hand in class, blurt out answers and insist they have turns before other students. To counteract this, work out a signal that only you and the student knows. For example, when you walk in front of their desk, they know that they should calm down. Or if you scratch your ear, they understand that they should give someone else a turn. This has proved highly effective.

Teaching kids with Aspergers can be a rewarding experience if approached in the right mindset. Remember to encourage positive behavior, discourage negative behavior, and to do your best to that student as much as the others.

The Complete Guide to Teaching Students with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

How can I help my Aspergers son to function better out in public?

Question

How can I help my Aspergers son to function better out in public?

Answer

We expect the people around us to look and act a certain way. Acting civilized is desired of all ages, young and old. Sometimes this is just too much to expect. People are individuals with their own agendas. What seems civilized to one family may be over the top in another household. What seems barely acceptable in one place is normal behavior in another.

Nevertheless, we all want to be accepted and we want our children to be accepted. We teach and train from the earliest point in time to the best of our ability and our expectations, only to be told we aren’t quite reaching the bar in other’s eyes. Then add in Asperger’s Syndrome (high-functioning autism). How can we succeed?

Make sure that your son recognizes appropriate behavior for public places. The younger you start, the more time you’ll have to cement the skills in his mind. Manners, personal cleanliness, and appropriate conversation are a few that are not only important at home but can mean acceptance in public.

You should make lists that are very straight-forward with simple language. An example of a list subject could be as follows:

This is how I act at a restaurant:

• I sit quietly and stay in my chair
• I speak calmly and place my order
• I eat my food using my manners

Picture charts are similar to lists, but use pictures instead of words. For example, a picture of a restaurant logo could be used as the title. The following pictures could be a car, people walking into a door, people sitting as a table, and so on.

Reading social stories is another good option. Choose a story about a boy going to eat in a restaurant. It is possible to write your own story. Make sure the story includes many examples of proper behavior. Read the story several times before the trip to the restaurant.

Use every possible opportunity to remind your son about his lists, charts, and stories. This will help him become more aware of how he should present himself. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome do not always see the importance of good behavior because of their lack of social skills. The good thing is that they want to do what is right and acceptable and will work hard to follow the rules.

Utilize the Internet to find books and videos that will model proper behavior for him. This video can be used for older kids through adult: “Manners for the Real World: Basic Social Skills” (DVD).

Your son can watch and emulate actual demonstrations of appropriate behavior by using this video. There are many topic areas covered, from table manners to public conversations and everything in between. All topics are discussed during the segment and then reviews are captioned on the screen. He’ll see it, hear it and read it.

As your son grows, you will need to add new rules to his lists. The body is always changing. There will be added personal hygiene issues, as well as new social situations in which he’ll begin to participate. The goal is to show him how to tackle the issues of public behavior himself as he becomes an adult. Because of your diligence over the years, your son will know what he needs to do to function appropriately in public.


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.

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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.

Click here for the full article...

My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content