Teens with Asperger’s are less prepared than typical teens to deal with the difficulties that come with sexuality and romance. Some are unaware of these issues, while others want a girlfriend or boyfriend, but have no idea how to form and maintain a relationship. Boys can be at risk of being accused of sexual harassment, and girls are at risk of being victims. Teach your child appropriate limits and behaviors or make sure someone else you trust does. Look for supervised activities where boys and girls can socialize in a safe, controlled environment, and supervised by a person who understands the Asperger profile and can help reinforce appropriate social skills in the moment. Like other teens, teens with the Asperger profile may begin to question their sexual identity. At AANE, we have the opportunity to speak with many teens who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual). At AANE we can support parents in this situation and guide them to find the right resources. Since these are more complicated instances, it would be very helpful to sign up for an hour-long Parent Help session where you can discuss this in more depth.
It is difficult being the parent of a child with Asperger’s, even when they are young. Often times, they are unable to express their feelings in the way we expect, or they do not respond in the expected way when we try to communicate our love for them. By adding adolescence, the relationship with our children can become much more complicated. Our colleague at AANE has a saying “Spray yourself with blame-removing spray!”. Forgive yourself for being an imperfect parent. Each of us offers our children our talents, interests, and qualities as individuals and parents. Each of us does our best to compile information, knowledge, resources, and services to help our children live and grow through adolescence. Each of us makes sacrifices for our children. It is hard work. Appreciate the work you do for your child. Build and use support groups, including the support we provide at AANE where we can meet at our offices or through online support.
If one of the parents has carried the greatest responsibility in the direct care of the child when he (she) was younger, perhaps this is the time for the other parent to play a more active role and learn more about the profile of an adolescent with Asperger’s. , while engaging and paying more attention to the teenager.