What Does Aspergers Look Like In A 5 Year Old Sexuality and Autism (Part 1)

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Sexuality and Autism (Part 1)

Many parents are very concerned when their autistic child reaches the ripe old age of puberty. Oh what to do? Should we put our daughter on birth control? Should we be trying to explain sexuality to our son who can’t sit or pay attention for more than a minute? It is a dilemma and every child faces this period in their life.

The first question many people ask is, “Do autistic people have sex?” That’s like asking if it’s getting dark outside tonight. Of course the answer is “yes”. It may not be the answer you want to hear, but it is the true answer you have to face with your child.

Another question you may have is, “Should I talk about sex with my child?” This answer has a lot to do with your child’s ability level. If your son/daughter has Asperger’s syndrome, then the answer is an unequivocal, “yes.” If your child doesn’t have the ability to tie his shoes or feed himself, you need to determine if your child is getting anything out of this conversation.

Other parents wonder if their young adult will become sexually active. This, like many other things related to autism, is an interesting and difficult question. First of all, it is not at all unusual for both boys and girls to masturbate. Sometimes, depending on where the person falls on the spectrum, masturbation can occur in places that could be embarrassing. Over the years that I have taught the autistic population, we have had this happen occasionally in my classroom. We consulted the school psychologist about the situation and her recommendation was to remove the child from the classroom and take him privately to the bathroom. I know this is not a solution that everyone would agree with. For this reason, in my opinion, each teacher and each parent must come up with their own satisfactory solution. In addition to masturbation, sexual relations with another person are quite possible. Again, it depends on your child’s ability level.

It is interesting to note that many more autistic adults are asexual compared to the rest of the population. There are also believed to be higher percentages of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender autistic people compared to the general population. This is partly because there is not as strong a need for conformity. Another interesting fact is that many more gay autistic people are celibate. That’s a choice.

Some parents wonder if their child will ever date, find a partner, and eventually get married. This scenario is naturally much smaller than the rest of the population. There are couples who get married. Generally, however, these are higher-functioning autistics. Some reasons why an autistic person may not be involved in a relationship is the simple fact that it can be very difficult for an autistic person to find a partner. Often, in addition to the norm, it is not uncommon for females to mark males. However, due to his inexperience, the male may not respond appropriately simply because he does not know how.

Part 2 dives a little deeper into sexuality and young autistic people.

Until next time, have a great time and don’t forget to take good care of yourself!

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