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Old 04-27-2005, 05:55 AM   #1
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bjm32 HB User
Exclamation Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

I have a 12yr old w/autism and this puberty thing is driving me crazy. He went through the stage of constantly touching himself, at the dinner table, at school, over other people's houses, but now he does it in his bed under his blanket. So I guess I should be happy with that! Now when he comes home from school or over the weekends he will not wear pants. I've tried just underwear, shorts and pants w/no underwear. He will put them on and then hide them and put on a shirt, with his legs through the sleeves and pulls the shirt up and walks around the house like that. I've tried 100% cotton clothes and tried silky boxers and pants (because I thought it may be a sensory thing) but nothing works! I talked to his teacher and his behavioral therapist and they suggested that I make him stay in his room until he puts his pants on.. I forgot to mention that he is non-verbal and has no real form of communication.. We recently had school vacation and I tried what the BT suggested. All it did was produce rage attacks everyday and they would last for more than an hour. During these attacks he bites his arms (to the point where the bleed), bangs his head with his hands, and just screams like someone is trying to kill him. After 10 days of that, I had to stop. What's the point if all he's doing is hurting himself? The poor kid has bruises, and bite marks everywhere. I know that I need to address this behavior but I need an alternative. I could just let him walk around the house wearing a shirt as pants and he'd be as happy as a "pig in poop". When he does that his genital area is not covered all the way. I also have a daughter, who is 10, and she doesn't need to see her brother naked all the time. Has anyone else encountered this behavior? Is it a "sexual" thing? Sensory? I just don't know! I would appreciate any input......TIA... ~Bunny

 
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:15 PM   #2
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Shababy HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

My daughter is verbal but she has a non verbal learning disorder and it's in the autism spectrum. There are three disorders in the autism spectrum which are nonverbal learning disorder, autism and aspergers. Your son definetely needs some help you haven't been able to provide. I understand.
Have you thought of a private school for kids with autism? They do have some in the USA. My daughter just goes the rehabilitation at a hospital's rehab section. She goes to social classes there(which it sounds like your son needs desperately);. She also will be going to occupational groups there(to teach her to coordinate her clothes, help w/loading a diswasher, etc. Then they also have physical therapy. The tests they do are: speech testing, occupational therapy testing, and phys therapy testing. You can ask your physician for an urgent referral. I would be concerned that cps might get involved w/his genitals showing. I understand you being scared! It almost seems as though they couldn't live in the same household until the problem is corrected. I'm at a loss. And then I'm wondering if cps would try to blame someone else for the bitting. I'm trying to think of what you can do here.
A group home, in home help, relative he can stay with where there are no girls, or your daughter going somewhere till all gets better. I'm probably not helping a bit. Sometimes these therapists think they have all the answers but they don't. If there were an apartment in your house where one parent or relative could stay w/your son and the other people live in the other part of the house for a while. Ask other options from other therapists, call a crisis line if you feel that might get some answers. Maybe the state will help pay for something. I'm sure they would. I'm not one for liking the state like I don't like cps. Once we asked the state to pay for in hosp phyciatric care for a child of ours that wasn't the autism child and they paid even though we had med ins and avg income. I'm 45 and been around the block and raised children 25 yrs and have another 8 yrs to go. I still don't know it all and never will. So, he doesn't do this at school? If I were you, I never would say anything about him touching himself in his own room under his own blankets. That's no problem because that's in his own privacy. When you see him do that, just walk away. I'd say, just tell your daughter never to go in his room. Have you contacted a psyciatrist for some inpatient therapy. This may be the best thing even though we don't like to think of it for our children. Since my first child, I wouldn't want to put a 2nd child in there.
The first child was just out of control, running with gangs, stealing cars at 12 yrs old, etc. The 2nd child has the disorder. I've managed to get through it w/o a in patient deal. But it hasn't been easy on my or the OTHER children.
I hope this helps a little, at least one word I've said I hope is helpful if none of the others. At 15 yrs old, my daughter is doing better. Yes, puberty is harder for kids w/autism, even harder than regular kids. My daughter has hormone disorders, skelatal problems, etc. on top of it all. No, I wouldn't let him stay in there by himself if he's going to bite himself. There has to be a consequence better than that. Maybe if the cops came and had a little talk with him, that might work. When my daughter w/NVLD hit me w/her fist in the back over my heart(I have heart problems), I had the cops arrest her. I never thought it correct the problem because of her disorder but it did! She hasn't hit anyone since. She has a record until she's 21 but she doesn't hit anymore. Actually, I wasn't the only one she was hitting. Maybe tell him to go to his room until he puts his pants on and if he begins to bite himself, tell him you will call the cops if he does it again and keep your word and do it. Show him that you mean business and if he don't mind you, then he'll have to deal with the cops. I feel sorry for both of you. It's hard on both of you, you and your son, but he still has to learn w/o hurting himself.

ShaBaby


Quote:
Originally Posted by bjm32
I have a 12yr old w/autism and this puberty thing is driving me crazy. He went through the stage of constantly touching himself, at the dinner table, at school, over other people's houses, but now he does it in his bed under his blanket. So I guess I should be happy with that! Now when he comes home from school or over the weekends he will not wear pants. I've tried just underwear, shorts and pants w/no underwear. He will put them on and then hide them and put on a shirt, with his legs through the sleeves and pulls the shirt up and walks around the house like that. I've tried 100% cotton clothes and tried silky boxers and pants (because I thought it may be a sensory thing) but nothing works! I talked to his teacher and his behavioral therapist and they suggested that I make him stay in his room until he puts his pants on.. I forgot to mention that he is non-verbal and has no real form of communication.. We recently had school vacation and I tried what the BT suggested. All it did was produce rage attacks everyday and they would last for more than an hour. During these attacks he bites his arms (to the point where the bleed), bangs his head with his hands, and just screams like someone is trying to kill him. After 10 days of that, I had to stop. What's the point if all he's doing is hurting himself? The poor kid has bruises, and bite marks everywhere. I know that I need to address this behavior but I need an alternative. I could just let him walk around the house wearing a shirt as pants and he'd be as happy as a "pig in poop". When he does that his genital area is not covered all the way. I also have a daughter, who is 10, and she doesn't need to see her brother naked all the time. Has anyone else encountered this behavior? Is it a "sexual" thing? Sensory? I just don't know! I would appreciate any input......TIA... ~Bunny

 
Old 04-29-2005, 03:45 AM   #3
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bjm32 HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for you help and input! My son goes to a private school for kids w/develepmental delays. He's been there since he was 3 (he's 12 now) he gets all his services through them, ABA, PT, OT, and speech. They have always been my source of help through the years, but they have never heard of this before.... I don't "think" my son would understand the concept of me calling the police for his self abusive behaviors. His school is aware and they have witnessed his biting, hitting, etc.. but you did give me an idea that "if" he has another rage attack, I will call the police just so they can witness it. Maybe he could benefit from an inpatient stay for a med eval.
Ya know sometimes it seems like my son has a very limited understanding of what I'm saying and other times he seems to understand everything I say. It's hard when he can't talk and only signs, "I want" and "more".
The first time I saw him under his blanket "touching himself" I actually told him "good job" and I shut the door. Geez, I never imagined I'd be praising him for doing "that" but I think that's when he "got it" and he's been good about doing that in private.

Thanks again for your response, it's just so hard sometimes, ya know?
~Bunny

 
Old 04-29-2005, 09:00 AM   #4
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Shababy HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

Same with my daughter, I didn't know if she knew hitting someone could actually hurt them bad or possibly kill or something. Hitting a brother 8 yrs younger than her really had me concerned a times. Matter a fact, one med she was on, actually made her even meaner. I didn't know if calling the police would help. Bit it did for us. Yes, I understand that your son may not understand. That was in the back of my mind. Well, that's great the school witnessed it themselves. The cops really made my daughter think. She didn't like being handcuffed and put in a small room w/not enough room to lay down and it not being soft like her own bed. They only kept her 45 mins, enough time to book her and let her get the feel. She also saw some pretty scarey juvenilles there. She said she'd never want to be near them again.


I have the same disorder as my daughter but hers is way, way worse. I was able to serve in the military for 10 yrs. The stress, teasing, etc. was so hard on me, I dug my pimples repeatedly when I was stressed. I have hundreds and hundreds of scares. I would have never knew I had it if my daughter wouldn't have been diagnosed with it. My daughter has it so severe, driving won't be something she could ever do and finding a job will be a struggle for her. But I know they have organizations to help kids like this find jobs once they are 18. Maybe your son is stressed and that's why he bites himself in the bedroom, maybe it's not just to make you take him out. I couldn't quite digging, I still dig at 45 yrs but I can't take the meds, no meds work. I don't dig as bad when I'm not working. It's not just digging, it's a horrible problem trying to keep your body still. My daughter and I also have ADD, maybe that's the digging, not keeping still problem. Matter a fact, my oldest daughter dug her head too. I dig my back and neck. I did dig my head for a long time. OCD is a characteristic of Non-verbal learning disorder so I'm sure it is Autism as well. There are so many characteristics of this spectrum like
awareness problems, judgement problems, common sense problems, etc. Have they told you all this. I'm glad your son gets the ot, speech, pt. Yes!

 
Old 05-21-2005, 11:08 AM   #5
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momw2 HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

hi my son is 15 and he comes home everyday from school and could take about 2-3 hr shower/bath if I let him. Im pretty sure he's taking care of business and I have problem getting to change clothes period. I have also praised him for taking care of business, I think it very important to let them know that it is ok as long as its not in front of people. I tell my all the time and he thinks Im disgusting, thats all he says to me. I am so concern about him because I dont know what he is thinking with anything going on and cannt tell why he does what he does. It frustrating. Just wanted to let u know that your not the only one going through these behavior, sometimes I feel like that. Hope it helps

 
Old 05-24-2005, 11:55 AM   #6
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redshoes HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

I have a almost 13 year old with autism, he always seems to have his hands in his pants, we can usually redirect him or remove him from the situation. I have noticed that things are getting better the farther along in puberty that we get.

 
Old 07-09-2007, 06:07 PM   #7
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kptjmich HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

I have a 13 y/o son with autism and this puberty thing is horrible..touching constantly and recently got thrown out of day care for inappropriate behavior involving a 3 y/o child. It's so hard to get appropriate care for these kids at this age. There's nothing available. All I can say is try picture cards and constant reminders that touching isnt appropriate in public.
Good luck!

 
Old 07-09-2007, 08:13 PM   #8
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Callista HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

Your idea about a sensory thing is making me think. Apologies in advance for any embarassment:

My own experiences:
I have quite a bit of sensory trouble wearing underpants; so I don't wear them. Obviously this means I have to wear pants rather than skirts; but that's not such a huge problem. I'm currently looking into finding a girls' version of boxer shorts, because it's the leg holes that always cause the most trouble, when they rub against my skin.

During puberty, the genitals grow, and hair grows in the area. Remember that this region is an extremely sensitive area normally; there are nearly as many nerves there as in the fingertips. Before puberty, your son's genitals were smaller and didn't brush against his pants as much; also, hair follicles are connected to nerves, and when a hair is moved, that creates sensory input, so new hair means more sensory input.

So at puberty, there's information coming into the brain that he's not used to dealing with. Wearing pants becomes increasingly annoying and frustrating; so as much as he can, he doesn't wear them. But you insist (obviously) that he should wear something on his legs; so he improvises: He wears something that doesn't bother him as much--the shirt, with the neck opening that reveals his genitals. It's quite creative, if you think about it; but obviously it isn't what society wants!

I don't have a solution to this problem; I'm a girl, and I don't know what's most comfortable for a guy. Could you talk to a man about it? Maybe more than one, if someone other than your husband--maybe a brother--would be comfortable with it; because it seems there are lots of different tastes in underclothing....

For now, would your son be willing to wear a bathrobe around the house?

Last edited by Callista; 07-09-2007 at 08:14 PM.

 
Old 07-11-2007, 08:54 PM   #9
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davann HB User
Re: Puberty and Autism... HELP!!

I don't know if this would help but I do know that I always welcome any suggestions we never knows what works for some may not work for others. My son is 17 years old and has always lay on the floor and rocked. At 3 years old he was doing this. Like you I tried to find answers his therapist suggested not to stop him but train him to do this only in his room with the door shut this worked. In his later years this continued but he would cover only his head but in his room. I thought it was cute that if he covered his head no one would see him and if I walked in he would lay still untill I shut his door. I guess he thought well if I can't see them they can't see me.

Last edited by davann; 07-11-2007 at 08:56 PM. Reason: left out something

 
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