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1. Introduction

Learn more. Autism spectrum disorder ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder impairing social skills and communication.

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Adolescents with ASD have sexual needs, but may not understand their physical and emotional development resulting in inappropriate sexual behaviour. The aim of this review is to describe the type of inappropriate behaviour that presents in these adolescents, explain why such behaviours occur, suggest what education is suitable and identify current gaps in research.

A list of books, articles, and videos for parents, singles, and couples.

In total, articles were found, with an additional 15 sources found via soft searches, of which 42 met inclusion criteria and were subsequently reviewed. Sexual behaviours that occur in these adolescents with ASD include hypermasturbation, public masturbation, inappropriate romantic gestures, inappropriate arousal and exhibitionism. Such behaviours are thought to be caused via a lack of understanding of normal puberty, the absence of appropriate sex education, the severity of their ASD and other associated problems.

It is suggested that individualized, repetitive education should be started from an early age in an accessible form. Social skills development is also important before more technical aspects of sex education are taught. Despite being such a common problem for schools, institutions and families to manage, it is surprising how sparse literature is particularly regarding why inappropriate behaviour occurs and what education is effective. Volume 10 , Issue 4. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.

Sex, Sexuality and the Autism Spectrum

If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Early Intervention in Psychiatry Volume 10, Issue 4. Email: beddowsn cardiff.

Sex, Sexuality and the Autism Spectrum | D&R - Kültür, Sanat ve Eğlence Dünyası

Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. The entire relationship and its aftermath left her shaken. Amy Gravino has dated men who, like her, are on the autism spectrum, but she prefers not to.

Some men on the spectrum, she says, lack a grasp of sexual and romantic boundaries.


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And, says Gerhardt, the very lessons individuals with autism are taught to help them navigate the world more easily—particularly to follow the instructions of parents, teachers and other authority figures—can lead them to comply with anyone they perceive as having authority. A danger of a different kind is an unwanted pregnancy. Depending on where they are on the spectrum, individuals with autism may not be able to cope with the physical and emotional demands of pregnancy itself, let alone those of raising a child.

As a result, decisions regarding contraception, for at least a portion of the ASD population, will likely fall to guardians.

1. Introduction

A guardian, legally defined, is a parent or legal caretaker of a child under 18, or the court-appointed caretaker—often a parent—of an adult deemed incapable of handling all the responsibilities of adulthood. The type of birth control chosen will ultimately depend on the capabilities of the person in question. A diaphragm, for instance, requires a fair amount of dexterity to insert and remove, and the pill needs to be taken daily—a requirement that may be beyond the abilities of some on the spectrum.

Birth control patches and injections delivered by a caretaker and IUDs are generally better options. Another, more controversial, option is sterilization—by vasectomy or tubal ligation.

With its overtones of eugenics, sterilization is rarely a first-line choice and requires court approval. A Need to Know In , the American Academy of Pediatrics declared that discussion of birth control options and sexuality should be part of routine pediatric care for young people with disabilities.

In fact, given their vulnerability, sex ed may be even more of an imperative for young people on the spectrum than for their peers in the general population. New Jersey mandates that students in first through twelfth grade receive at least minutes of health education each week, some of which must include sex ed.

Social/Sexual Awareness

That situation is not uncommon for parents of children with ASD, many of whom have problems communicating. North Arlington resident Nakeishia Knox Holston, whose year-old son has autism marked by fairly significant communication problems, would love to see him in a lasting relationship. Can he express those feelings?

For parents like Holston, that desire for their children to experience romantic love is often stymied by their own reticence to talk about sex.

Unfortunately, putting off the conversation can be perilous. Searching for Solutions Autism experts advise that, whether or not a child on the spectrum is receiving sex education at school, there are lessons that need to be taught at home. Buchanan suggests bringing in an expert—a medical professional, a therapist, or a licensed counselor—if need be. Autism New Jersey provides a referral list of local clinicians, psychologists, social workers and counselors on its website. Any lesson about sex, notes Gravino, should include the topic of personal boundaries.

Again, professional autism counselors and mentors can step in when parents are unsure where or how to begin. One of the greatest obstacles to romance on the spectrum is a real or perceived lack of opportunity for social interaction. Given their difficulty in social situations, many people with autism shy away from mingling grounds like clubs, bars and parties. Men with ASD looking to meet women on the spectrum face additional challenges, since there are so many more men with autism than women in New Jersey, 1 in 28 males has been diagnosed with the condition, as opposed to 1 in females.

In New Jersey, in fact, there are opportunities across the state for adults and teens on the spectrum to make connections.