Should you talk to your autistic child about sex?

The bees-and-flowers talk makes almost every parent uncomfortable. How are you supposed to talk to your child about sex, sex-transmitted diseases, and pregnancy if no one taught you how? I mean, you didn’t get the talk or only a very vague and uncomfortable version of it. And you turned out just fine, right? For children who have autism the talk may be even more difficult.

Autism and puberty

The answer, of course, is that you should talk to you autistic child about sex. They deserve to know what’s happening to their bodies and why these changes take place. And if they don’t learn it from you, they will find other sources – like porn. And, believe me, you don’t want your child to base their sexuality on porn.

The talk isn’t only about sex. Puberty is a time of great changes in your autistic child’s life. Their body and mind change. Start with that, this should be easy enough to talk about. But first: do your homework. If you’re not sure whether you know all the relevant information, first learn yourself before you start teaching your child.

Sensory integration issues

When it comes to sex itself, remember to touch on your autistic child’s sensory integration issues. If they are very particular about smells or touch, prepare them. Sex is smelly and involves a lot of touching. You don’t want your teenager to have unrealistic expectations.

Try to discover if your child has any body-image problems. These are closely related to teen sexuality and should be addressed. Physiotherapy or a visit to a certified psychologist should help your teen cope better with their self-image.

2 Comments

  1. Diane

    I remember when my parents gave me the talk. It was so vague I didn’t know what it was about until my mom blurted out at the end “But remember, sex with the right man is sometimes nice.”

    Reply
  2. Sharon

    Autism shouldn’t be an obstacle to enjoying one’s sexuality…

    Reply

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