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Autistic son with odd behavior
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Autistic son with odd behavior

My 8 year old son, (only child) with Autism has been holding his private area for about 1 month now. Never stops and when asked to give both hands, he manuevers his body to where he begins walking awkwardly.Don't know how it started and  don't how to make it stop. Please HELP!!!!!!
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Masturbation is not uncommon in individuals diagnosed with autism at your son’s age, so what you are experiencing is not atypical.  For individuals with autism-spectrum diagnoses who are less sensitive to social contingencies, public masturbation is not an uncommon problem and these individuals can often be taught where and when it is and is not appropriate to masturbate.  I recommend that you contact a behavior analyst who has experience developing programs designed to do this (http://www.bacb.com/).  These interventions might involve your son earning a particular reward each day (or perhaps each hour) that he does not touch himself in school.  This might be combined with teaching him an appropriate place for masturbation (e.g., the bathroom at home) and what places are inappropriate (e.g., in public, at school, etc…).  Interventions of this sort can be quite effective in the absence of medication but, again, I recommend that you meet with a behavior analyst and discuss interventions that would work for you and your family.  
11 Comments
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470168_tn?1237474845
Is your son verbal?  If so, ask him does it hurt down there.  My son, and many other autistic children, do not volunteer information even when they are in pain.  You need to ask the specific question 'is it hurting you' and then he might reply 'yes'.  I have many examples of this, but the most recent was when one side of my sons face swelled up and I took him to the doctors.  He had a bad ear infection.  When I asked my son 'does your ear hurt you', he said 'yes I can't get to sleep at night'.  But he must have had that infection for a long time and hadn't uttered a word about being in pain to anyone.
I would also recommend you to go your GP and have his urine tested for any infection and his penus swobbed for thrush.  Depending on those results the GP will prescribe something.
Is he drinking plenty of fluids?
Is there anything else you can think of that could be causing this, or why he might be doing this?  Is his sensory system over sensitive, or under sensitive or does it fluctuate between the two?
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your advice. I have taken him to the pediatrician and had a urine test done. The doctor could not find anything unusual. My son is slightly verbal. I have asked him several times and he always says "no". I can hold both his hands when we're walking and he will slump over in order to somehow cover "it". I am sooo baffled by his behavior. Another doctor suggests that he may be discoverig himself. I am hoping it is just a phase and will just stop-soon!  Thanks!
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470168_tn?1237474845
You could try a couple of things to see if it is a sensory/environmental thing.
When you go out let him have sunglasses or a peaked cap or his hood up.
Let him have something to hold eg. a small toy or some theraputty.
If he has sensory issues he might not be getting enough sensory information in through his system or he might be getting too much.  Does he appear to like to be squashed, or can't he bear to be hugged or squashed?
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Avatar_n_tn
MY SON IS 9 W/AUTISM , HE IS VERY SENSITIVE THERE .  IF HE HAVE ON LOOSE CLOTHES HE PLAYS WITH IT AND SOMETIMES TAKES IT OUT AND RUB IT ON THE CARPET.
HIS PED'T SAID ITS NORMAL FOR CHILDREN W/ AUTISM TO BE EXTREMELY SENSITIVE THERE. I ASK WILL HE GROW OUT OF IT SHE SAID NO.  
NOW WHEN WE CATCH HIM ME TRY TO DETOUR HIS THINKING W/ BEADS(HE LIKE).
GOOD LUCK & GOD BE WITH US
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470168_tn?1237474845
It might be that he is oversensitive there.  You could try experimenting with different types of underwear to see if anything suits him better eg. Y-fronts or boxer shorts etc.  My son is also very sensitive there, and although he frequently re-adjusts his clothing and underwear, he isn't actually holding onto it.  Let us know if anything works.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for your input. I am trying desperatley to find solution. I will work with my son's OT to see if we can find another outlet.  God bless!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you again for your helpful advise! I have him in boxer briefs and he was fine before. I notice he won't do it when he is naked or wearing a night time diaper. I may try just regular boxers. Let's cross our fingers!!!!! :)
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470168_tn?1237474845
If he isn't doing it when naked or in diapers, then that would suggest that it isn't a permanent sensation he has.  it might be that something that is all cotton and a snugger fit like briefs might solve the problem.  It might be that the loser material of the boxer shorts is brushing against him as he walks and he doesn't like the sensation.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I had two childrem with Autism who we must treat with refurse psychologie to be able to handle them . Both where born with a condition that tell them to hate there parents and we where never able to communicate with them  or have anormal relationship like father and son or mother with dochter. Now whe have the same problems with our grandchildren born with the same mental problems by  problem parents. Dochter and son.  Any advice on this how we can handle this.
preciated    Thank you disaster stryke again, for how long?How many generations
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Avatar_f_tn
hi
my son his 22 now he does the same touching himself i ask him if he his sore etc, but i find when he is anxious he does it and i have to tell him then he will stop till he gets anxious again

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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, maturbating in school was started.
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This Forum's Experts
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
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New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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