Sexuality and Autism

Most people tend to believe that those on the autism spectrum are neither interested in sex or active in sexually. This is false. Autistic people live a very normal life as far as physical factors are concerned. Marriage is not out of the question; nor is having children.

The difficulties may be experienced more by the non autistic partner who must learn to read behavioral signs that are different from what they have learned. This often requires and understanding that certain “romantic” gestures may not be forth coming. Actual sexual contact may be more or less depending on the tactile needs or preferences of the individual with autism.

Some individuals on the autism spectrum tend to stay away from sex as all the implications may be overwhelming  Others may actively engage in sex without comprehending the consequences  Often because there remain a belief that sex is not a issue for those on the spectrum  autistic individuals have inaccurate knowledge about it due to lack of education in many instances.  Autistic teens have a lot of unanswered questions and are not sure who to ask. It is very important everyone be given sex education not only to watch out for the signs of abuse but more importantly to learn appropriate sexual behavior towards others. Skills around sexual behavior in public, physical contact and privacy are important. Experimentation is not unusual just as with most teenagers.

Those on the autistic spectrum often want to get married and/or have a relationship, but the thought of initiating communication and intimacy is too much. The possibility of rejection is seen as a probably attack on their self esteem and so they may refrain from seeking partners.

Not to be ignored is the danger that someone will take advantage of these lack of typical inhibitions. The National Council for Autism is proceeding with their research to enable  children with these challenges to understand the different kind of abuses and the ways by which they can avoid them. But all these facts do not mean that they cannot have sex or lead a normal life like the others.  Experts say that due to their vulnerability, such disabled children should be given extra attention and should be taken extra care of especially during their fragile childhood mainly when they are exposed to public like in places such as school where they have much chances of going through physical harassment especially by their elder peers.