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Maybe an awkward subject, but I have to ask?

Posted by on Jun. 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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 Ok.  I have a son who is almost 4.  He is very high functioning ASD.  He had his hands in his pants a lot, but it was mostly just a habit.  He also laid on his hands a lot, and we figured it was a stimulation thing he does, OR the common typical thing that children do (you know).  Well, I didn't like it, but was told by our HAB lady to teach him to do it in his room because it is normal.  He is not exposed to ANY sexual material what so ever.  Nothing on t.v, nothing in the home, etc.  Well here is what I found next....

I walk into his room and he is "under his covers" ALOT.  The other day when he got out of them, he had his pants and underwear down to his knees.  Then he pulls them up when he gets out of his covers.  I am absolutely beside myself not knowing what is going on.  We did NOT teach him to go to his room and do this.  My husband gets mad and says, "Nobody taught ME either, he probably just knows to!".  I just don't know....I want to know I am not the only one who's child is doing this this young.  I know nothing funny is going on.  We leave him with NOBODY except at school.     :-/
by on Jun. 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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by on Jun. 3, 2012 at 2:34 PM
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You just teach him that he can only do it in the privacy of his room.

my son did some of this around 3-4. I told him he couldn't do it in public and just didn't make a big deal about it.

by Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 7:22 AM

Mine has done the same thing. It was  a stim when younger. Now that he is going through puberty we just remind him it is okay but in private only.  My husband has spoken with him "man to man/boy" that it is normal etc for boys to do this, and it is okay.

 I would suggest  talking with him about it being a natural thing and just remind him it is a private thing for him and something to do in the privacy of his room. Do not make him think it is anything bad or to be ashamed of, just something personal for him only.  Later you can inform him of more details as he matures/grows.  

by Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 8:42 AM
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As the other moms already stated make sure he knows this is something you do in private and don't make him feel bad about it. This is normal sexual exploration that feels good and  ALL children go through this stage. It is just that, a temporary stage in his sexual development. Don't fret - it is important to allow your son to go through this without adding any stress that he is doing something bad. It may be embarrassing to you but he has not yet experienced embarrassment himself. Constant reminders to do this in private from you and his teachers, as well as some peer pressure will eventually take care of it. Let him know calmly when he has his hands down his pants that he needs to do that in private. In addition, try to keep him busy and distracted with lots of hands on activities. A child at that stage is more apt to play with himself when there is nothing else to do or when bored. 

Connie Hammer,  Parent Coach for Autism 

by New Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

 Thank you ladies.  I am not embarrassed at all because he now only does it in his room.  I guess I just don't understand how he managed to start doing this "only" in his room and with his pants pulled down.  Because before, he did it where ever which I figured was normal because he didn't know any better.  We were "told" to teach him to only go to his room to do it, but we just "hadn't" yet.  So I guess I am just shocked that he knew to do this on his own and I guess it freaked me out a little.  I was ALWAYS the mother saying it is natural and not to make a big deal out of it, before my own child started doing it.  I haven't once made him feel bad about it, of course not, I am just surprised and I guess it is a new experience for me :-/  I have a 2 1/2 year old as well, so I guess I won't be so shocked when he starts.  Thank you again.  I am glad to know he isn't the only one, and yes, I know some of it is a stim.  He is very sensory seeking.
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 2:01 PM
My son started at 3. He is 11 now and he only does it outside his room to annoy me, I think. I used to yell and then he started hiding in his room to do it. Give him five minutes and then distract him with something else to do. Good luck.
by Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 2:06 PM
My son is five and when he was 4 he used to do it a lot. They are just discovering themselves and they discovered "hey it feels pretty good when i touch this thing". I would just make him go in his room whenever he started to put his hands in his pants. I haven't seen him do it in a fee months now that i think about it. He could still be doing it in his room or maybe he is over that stage. It's ok though, I was freaked out at first too.
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by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM

My six year old son does it too.  We've taught him that he has to wear his pants in public and everything in his pants needs to stay in his pants.  We told him that his penis is "private" and he has to be in his room to be naked or touch.  My husband is more cavalier about it than I am, probably because he's a guy.  He doesn't do it so much that it is a real problem, but he does do it.  I also don't know how much of this is "normal" kid behavior since we only have one child.


by Member on Jun. 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM

I'm on a group at another website and I can tell you that you are not alone.  Your son is a sensory seeker and well, it just feels good.  You're doing the right thing by having him do this in private. But doing it all the time is not good either.  Just like with a stim, you might try to redirect him into something else to take its place.  Some kind of high sensory activity that's fun like a relay race in the house or an impromptu jump around dance.

You might also try to explain moderation in a way that he understands. "We like to watch TV or play on the computer, but we don't do that all day because it's important to do other things too."  He should know that if he has some quiet time in his room, there is a time limit and also a limit to how many times a day he can go in his room to do that.  If he can identify to you when he has that urge to do it (after is limit is up), you can come up with those sensory seeking activities he needs.  Hoepfully this will show him that there are other activities he can do.

I wrote a visual social story on things we do in private.  It includes masturbation along with the safety rule that no adult should ever tell you this is okay to do in front of them.

by Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 8:00 AM

  Normal.  Your doing it right. Telling him its private and only at home in his room or his bathroom. Otherwise he might think any bedroom or bathroom. He is young yet so it might stop and than start again at puberty. My youngest did the same thing. I did not think much of it until we went through 3 sitters in 2 months. That was one of the more visible signs of autism for us. 

by Member on Jun. 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM
My kid never did this but my son was a stripper he grew out of it when he started school. Have you considered ABA therapy or seeing if a occupational therapist can help.
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