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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Therapist- same sex?

Posted by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM
  • 13 Replies
Ok so We saw Jacobs psychiatrist yesterday and she flipped when I explained Jacob's new disappearing acts. Apparently he's doing this when he feels overwhelmed. She tries to talk to him, but he shut down and just played with his hands making no eye contact with anyone. She wants him in therapy as well as everything else to see if he will gain trust with them and explain more. Also because he will be going back to public school. So she asked him if he wanted to see a male Dr and Jacob at this point wouldn't answer any questions. I asked him did he feel most comfortable talking to Mommy or Daddy, he said me. (DH is now pouting, oh well) Anyway on to the question... Do you think he would feel better with male or female? Let me say Jacob is very timid and not at all aggressive. He can at times behave feminine in some ways (don't think I'm a bad Mama for voicing that). DH actually asked a long time ago what we'd do if Jacob came out as an adult. So that's the personality. I'm thinking female, but the dr and DH are thinking male. Any opinions??
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by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM
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Austinsmom4544
by Silver Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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I chose a male for my son.  My sons dad is not really in his life hasn't seen or talked to them in 3 yrs, so my thinking was he needed a male role model other than my dad.  It has been a slow process but he is slowly opening up to him.  Go with your gut instinct who he will respond best to.  :)

melissarose72
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 11:55 AM

My son (now 5) has almost always had female teachers & therapists. He did have a male para for a while & he was awesome. He had a male BCBA for a while & he was awesome too. I was really worried about males working with him, but it worked out great. I think it depends on the personality of the therapist meshing with your child. My son just does not click with some therapists, ever. If they can't respect that he hates to be touched & physically moved....it's not going to work out, imo. If they are too abrupt with transitions, things won't go well. One speech therapist in particular, just didn't get him. I had to be in the room for every session....my son would not go in there without me (he's also had bad seperation anxiety that took a long time to work thru).

If possible, try to talk to the dr you chose before setting up an appt. I think it's all about personality & caring, not male or female (my opinions changed after those 2 good experiences with the male para & male BCBA).

Sheriff6
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:04 PM
I think if she would just sit with him and join in whatever he is doing for a while and build a bond with him the problem would be solved. Our kids have problem with social issues and then we put them with someone new and expect them to just open up? That is hard for a NT anyone so she needs to be patient and whatever he is doing she should to, to show him that she a celts him where he is and that when he is ready she will be there.
momtoscott
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:04 PM

 My son has benefited from both female and male therapists.  I think he enjoys talking to the women more, but also has things he can't talk to them about--"guy stuff."  But he can talk to male therapists about the guy stuff, and that can be helpful.  As long as it's a person who connects well with your son, probably either gender is appropriate.   

HFBMOM
by Julie on Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I don't know about therapists, but my son has always appreciated his male school teachers. 

badgermom2012
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

I don't let my son work with any male therapists b/c I'm afraid of pedophiles.  Sorry if that not PC or is discriminatory against men or whatever.  My child's safetly comes first, and you don't often hear about women therapists raping little boys.  

greenmommo
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 3:24 PM
I think either may work if the right person, but from your post, it sounds like you think he'd be more receptive to a woman. So I say, go with your gut. If he is questioning, he'd probably feel better with a woman.
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kajira
by Emma on Jun. 30, 2012 at 3:37 PM
1 mom liked this

If she's being pushy, therapy may not be the right choice for him, or at least that therapist.

A therapist who can handle your child should, theoretically make him interested in her. She should be able to get down on his level and do stuff until he reaches out to her.

Pushing herself on him will make him uncomfortable and shut down. My son and I are not responsive to talk therapy either. I shut down and won't talk and I'm an adult. I don't like verbal speaking. I can type, and if pressured or put on the spot, I look for the nearest exit and will do almost anything to get away from the person who's putting me in that position.

My son son's a lot like you describe, his favorite color is also pink. He often gets along better with females than males. (which is funny, since I get along better with males instead of females usually.) 

I think that instead of focusing on gender, you might try to find a therapist who can reach your son in a different way, who caters to his wiring to bring him out of his shell. Traditional talk therapy isn't something that works super well usually for autistic people/kids because unless they are super trained to communicate and work with the quirks of an autistic person, the person either responds poorly to them, or it doesn't go anywhere long term.

A friend of mine has a really good doctor/therapist. She has a dog in the office that my friend can pet, hug on to, she has all sorts of sensory stuff in her office, she has the ability to dim the lighting and has no ticking sounds, and the only active noises is the AC/Heat (which doesn't bug everyone, but certainly bugs me when it turns on and off constantly.)

Being able to understand and work with sensory and stimming issues will go a long way for getting him to open up and talk too.

My son, if given a specific task - like blocks, is more likely to open up and talk to you while he's building blocks or stimming. If you expect him to just sit and have a conversation with out stimming or doing an activity, he clams up tighter, and you can't pry him back open.

And, he and I both are the kind of people that once your not in our "Good box" we never trust you. ever.

I don't trust that way. I either make the choice to trust the person, or I don't. It's not something that generally can be "earned" with me the traditional way. I observe for a long time before I make a decision generally... and if you push the trust or talking issue, you go into my "doesn't understand me at all" box and I won't trust the person ever.

Austinsmom4544
by Silver Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM
1 mom liked this

I totally agree!  My sons counselor is a man and he gets my son to talk while they are playing video games :)  Sometimes they will build with k'nex or play a board game but my son has been more receptive to opening up.  His counselor is very laid back and not pushy at all.  He is also only about 5" 4 and my son refers to him as a kid! lol  My son is 5 " 10. 

Quoting kajira:

If she's being pushy, therapy may not be the right choice for him, or at least that therapist.

A therapist who can handle your child should, theoretically make him interested in her. She should be able to get down on his level and do stuff until he reaches out to her.

Pushing herself on him will make him uncomfortable and shut down. My son and I are not responsive to talk therapy either. I shut down and won't talk and I'm an adult. I don't like verbal speaking. I can type, and if pressured or put on the spot, I look for the nearest exit and will do almost anything to get away from the person who's putting me in that position.

My son son's a lot like you describe, his favorite color is also pink. He often gets along better with females than males. (which is funny, since I get along better with males instead of females usually.) 

I think that instead of focusing on gender, you might try to find a therapist who can reach your son in a different way, who caters to his wiring to bring him out of his shell. Traditional talk therapy isn't something that works super well usually for autistic people/kids because unless they are super trained to communicate and work with the quirks of an autistic person, the person either responds poorly to them, or it doesn't go anywhere long term.

A friend of mine has a really good doctor/therapist. She has a dog in the office that my friend can pet, hug on to, she has all sorts of sensory stuff in her office, she has the ability to dim the lighting and has no ticking sounds, and the only active noises is the AC/Heat (which doesn't bug everyone, but certainly bugs me when it turns on and off constantly.)

Being able to understand and work with sensory and stimming issues will go a long way for getting him to open up and talk too.

My son, if given a specific task - like blocks, is more likely to open up and talk to you while he's building blocks or stimming. If you expect him to just sit and have a conversation with out stimming or doing an activity, he clams up tighter, and you can't pry him back open.

And, he and I both are the kind of people that once your not in our "Good box" we never trust you. ever.

I don't trust that way. I either make the choice to trust the person, or I don't. It's not something that generally can be "earned" with me the traditional way. I observe for a long time before I make a decision generally... and if you push the trust or talking issue, you go into my "doesn't understand me at all" box and I won't trust the person ever.



greenmommo
by on Jun. 30, 2012 at 3:54 PM
I also agree-an activity to loosen up is great. You may have to tell then it's fine because they may think you think they are wasting your money. I can talk, but I don't do well in the typical setup with chairs facing each other. I spend the entire time trying to figure out where to look.

Nicole isn't very good at opening up and after a while, I realized it was because she didn't know. She didn't know why she did the things she did. The words she gave back were my words-I had put the possible explanations in her mind and those were the words she knew. That was actually when I started realizing it was something more.

Looking back as a kid, I also recall therapists putting motives into my actions that simply weren't there. So, like Emma said-they need to be experienced.


Quoting kajira:

If she's being pushy, therapy may not be the right choice for him, or at least that therapist.

A therapist who can handle your child should, theoretically make him interested in her. She should be able to get down on his level and do stuff until he reaches out to her.

Pushing herself on him will make him uncomfortable and shut down. My son and I are not responsive to talk therapy either. I shut down and won't talk and I'm an adult. I don't like verbal speaking. I can type, and if pressured or put on the spot, I look for the nearest exit and will do almost anything to get away from the person who's putting me in that position.

My son son's a lot like you describe, his favorite color is also pink. He often gets along better with females than males. (which is funny, since I get along better with males instead of females usually.) 

I think that instead of focusing on gender, you might try to find a therapist who can reach your son in a different way, who caters to his wiring to bring him out of his shell. Traditional talk therapy isn't something that works super well usually for autistic people/kids because unless they are super trained to communicate and work with the quirks of an autistic person, the person either responds poorly to them, or it doesn't go anywhere long term.

A friend of mine has a really good doctor/therapist. She has a dog in the office that my friend can pet, hug on to, she has all sorts of sensory stuff in her office, she has the ability to dim the lighting and has no ticking sounds, and the only active noises is the AC/Heat (which doesn't bug everyone, but certainly bugs me when it turns on and off constantly.)

Being able to understand and work with sensory and stimming issues will go a long way for getting him to open up and talk too.

My son, if given a specific task - like blocks, is more likely to open up and talk to you while he's building blocks or stimming. If you expect him to just sit and have a conversation with out stimming or doing an activity, he clams up tighter, and you can't pry him back open.

And, he and I both are the kind of people that once your not in our "Good box" we never trust you. ever.

I don't trust that way. I either make the choice to trust the person, or I don't. It's not something that generally can be "earned" with me the traditional way. I observe for a long time before I make a decision generally... and if you push the trust or talking issue, you go into my "doesn't understand me at all" box and I won't trust the person ever.


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