How are parents supposed to deal with this? Children who don’t have special needs, many times moms do not have to confront this issue with their kids. What about dealing with autistic boys going through puberty and don’t know how?
All the years that I have been working with special needs adults and children. I think I have seen it all, from finding stuffed animals in pants to toothbrushes up butts. I am sure many parents could tell us all crazy tales of what extreme situations they have seen their special needs children get themselves into.
Special needs kids still have this desire and their body becomes anxious yet excited, but some have missing puzzles pieces in their minds on how to achieve what their bodies naturally are programmed to do. So naturally this will cause new behaviors. We gave our son privacy, however, he then started doing things we believe would have hurt him.
Our son started taking any clothes that he could find, whether it was in the dirty clothes basket, dresser drawers, even in the dryer and stuffing them down his pants. This was a new behavior I have never seen before. He didn’t start doing this until he hit puberty. So I found this turned out to be a sexual motive. Locks were installed in his dresser drawers. It was time to step up my game to make sure clothes could not be left out to be folded later, or left in the dryer or even the washer. Then he went after all my towels and washcloths in the bathroom, the clean ones. So I got tired of following him into the bathroom and I installed locks also on the towel cupboard. I start giving him stuffed animals and making sure he had PJ bottoms for bed time for sleeping. Then he started to get worse.
We eventually had him start to wear onesies on backwards so he wouldn’t keep putting various objects down his pants. That didn’t work. This behavior started being an all day thing, so then I would use positive reinforcement and rewarded him every 30 minutes with M&M’s for not having anything object down his pants. That didn’t work either. So finally, I thought, if he didn’t have any pants on to put the objects in then he wouldn’t hurt himself. So we had him sleep naked at night and had him get psychically active for 60 mins a day. The day time behavior stopped as long as people where in the same room and he had an activity.
With puberty and your autistic child, there is no fix and no explaining to the children the way they feel and what their bodies are going through. Many of these children don’t have the communication skills to address this issue. Some just find out these actions on their own, like humping the bed realizing it feels good, they do it. Just give them their privacy and let them clean up after themselves if they are able. I have known moms to have doctors prescribe saltpeter to their children going through puberty. While they are going through puberty showers need to be given more often and deodorant needs to start being applied. I know it is weird seeing your children’s body start to change and you are still caring for their daily living skills, let alone now they need to be shaved. I also mostly give showers daily for the bed wetters and children masturbating. If you don’t have time getting your kids ready in the morning before the bus comes, a bed bath may be sufficient. You must however be cautious with children with sensitive skin.
We need to have many different approaches to deal with behaviors, no two kids are alike. That is why I want people to join our #autismarmy to get these kids raised! We need each other’s ideas and strategies so we can all live as normal of a life as possible. You are not alone and it is “OK” to talk about it.
I just wanted to put this out their to all mom’s who deal with this. You are not alone.