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Talking About Sexuality for Parents of Teens With Autism Spectrum Disorder—Autism Toolkit

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How Your Child's Pediatrician Can Help

All children and teens, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have questions about physical changes in their bodies, emotions, and feelings during and after puberty. It is important to help children and teens understand these changes by talking with them early and often about puberty and sexuality.

Talking about these topics may make parents feel uncomfortable, anxious, or embarrassed. A child?s pediatrician can help. This is an important topic because sexuality is a healthy, normal, and key part of being a teen and an adult.

Most teens, including those with ASD, are curious about their own bodies and the physical and emotional changes of adolescence. Like other teens, they see and hear about sexual behaviors through TV, movies, and online. However, these sources may not be true and not aimed at people with ASD. So, all teens need to be given information about sexuality in a way they can understand. Parents of children or teens with ASD need to start discussing sexuality with them early.

What to Consider When Visiting Your Child?s Pediatrician

During visits with your child?s pediatrician, talk about your concerns with your child?s sexual development. Think about these things.