Let me talk about a topic that I don't think too many people talk very openly about.
Your autistic child and sexual behavior.
I'd rather not think about it, I don't know about you.
But we can't ignore it.
Brian has always had that tactile urge to touch people's skin, he loves to lie by me and have his bare arm next to my bare arm. He likes even better to lay his head on my belly. And he really likes to try to touch my butt.
Yup, my butt.
Yet I don't see this as him having any sort of weird sexual urges. It's that he is seeking this particular type of tactile sensation. Sometimes I joke that it's my fault for breastfeeding him until he was 18 months old- that certainly got him use to having a LOT of skin-to-skin contact with me.
So this is one issue that I have to deal with. I'm not an overly-modest person but I have to be with Brian. I have to teach him what private time is, what private parts are, and what is socially acceptable.
Lately Brian has developed a fondness for his male parts. Okay, this is perfectly normal. It feels good. You can't expect a child to not want to do something that feels good.
Brian won't learn what is socially acceptable as easy as other kids. I remember Corbin went through this stage and we talked about what we do in private and what we do in public and that was that. He was good to go. Brian isn't that easy.
Part of it was my fault. I knew it would be a difficult concept to understand so maybe I just ignored the behavior for a little while (in the house, not in public- never ignored in public). When really honestly I should have been strict on these rules from the beginning. I should have been more firm with him, then I was when I had this lesson with Corbin. Sometimes I might slack on some things with Brian, thinking he already has a ton on his plate, but I don't think this is one of those areas to slack on.
Since I've recently had the pleasure of meeting a few teenagers on the spectrum I have seen that some of them are dealing with these issues. Why? Because they have the SAME hormonal urges that every other teenager has, but they don't have the coping mechanisms. They also don't understand those social rules that we all can understand without having them explained in black and white. Unfortunately, people see these (frequent touching of oneself, blatantly staring at girls' breasts, etc.) as behaviors and I really don't think it should be looked at like that. They are doing what their raging-out-of-control-teenage hormones are telling them to do. Yet, because they are autistic, they have social delays, they don't have that inner voice telling them what is okay and what isn't.
Where am I going with this post? I have no idea really. I just think it's a conversation that many are afraid to talk about but it's something we need to talk about. Our kids need to start learning these things at an early age so hopefully as a teenager or young adult they don't have to deal with yet another issue that sets them apart from their peers or gets them isolated even more.
So there I said it. I started the conversation. Do you have anything to add?