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5 Tips for Talking to Autistic Teens About Sex

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Birds and the bees. This phrase is as old as time. We all know what it means. It’s the phrase a parent says to their teen when teaching them about sex. It is necessary to discuss, despite it being difficult. However, autistic teens sometimes seem to be left out of this talk.

The reason for this seems to be that the neurotypical world feels that many of us might not be able to understand. But the truth of the matter is, depending on the autistic individual’s cognition, many of us can understand this topic. Here are five tips to help parents when talking with their autistic teen about sex.

1. Be honest.

This is very important. Your teen is at an age in which their body is growing and they are feeling attracted to peers of the opposite and/or same sex. This includes autistic teens. Be sure to tell them that such feelings are normal and don’t leave anything out when talking to them. If you don’t know too much about this subject, the next step might help.

2. Do your research.

Let’s be honest, there might be some sexuality-related topics you don’t know about and that’s OK. In fact, it’s normal not to know everything. That is why you should do your research on the topic of sex. Once you have a good grasp on this, you may find it easier to discuss it with your autistic teen.

3. It’s OK to feel nervous.

This can be a tough subject to talk about, especially with your own kids. So it’s absolutely normal to feel nervous. Give yourself some time to decompress before giving this talk to your autistic teen. Even being honest with them about how this makes you nervous can be a relief.

4. Do not assume.

This is a big one. Many autistic teens don’t have “the talk” because their parents assume they wouldn’t be able to understand. However, this assumption has led to many autistic teens not knowing much about this time in their lives, an uncertainty that continued into adulthood. Do not assume that they would not understand this talk. It might even surprise you how much they might be able to understand.

5. Let them ask questions.

Once you have given your teen “the talk,” give them a chance to ask any questions they might have. There might be something they would be curious about. This would also give them the opportunity to speak what is on their mind regarding this topic.

Well, those are my five tips. Now I want to be frank with you, I am not saying that these tips are foolproof. You are the parent and you would have a better understanding of your autistic teen. I’m just giving you these tips from the perspective of an autistic person like myself. Nevertheless, I hope you have found this to be helpful and I wish you the best with this talk. You’ve got this!

Getty photo by MStudioImages.

Originally published: December 6, 2021
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