Friday, February 25, 2011

Time for Sex Education?

My son disrobed Barbie yesterday.

He and my wife had their regular session with his psychotherapist yesterday afternoon. Lately, the sessions have been used to help my son learn to deal with emotions like sadness and disappointment.

Toward this, the therapist, “Marcy,” sometimes gives our son a Barbie doll to help work through his disappointment. The doll is supposed to represent the therapist, and the idea is that rather than being physically aggressive toward the person, Kai can talk to or take his frustrations out on the doll. For instance, he oftentimes likes to build a “jail” for “Little Marcy” to express the anger he feels for some limit that “Big Marcy” has set.

During yesterday’s session, Kai began taking off the doll’s clothing. Before long he was holding a naked Barbie. He seemed very curious and examined her closely. I understand that it is normal for kids to have such curiosity.

But, Kai went beyond looking at the doll. He asked Marcy to take off her clothes.

As you would expect from a professional, she was unflustered. She told my son that her body was private and she did not want to take off her clothes.

My wife’s reaction, and mine later when I heard about it, was quite different. Oh. My. God! Our son is asking people to take off their clothes!!!!!

It was bad enough when he was asking folks what year they were born or how old they were. But, this is a whole ‘nother matter. Is this going to become another regular routine of his? Ack!

Marcy suggested that it might be time for us to teach our son more about the human body, the differences between boys and girls, and even where babies come from. She said that there are books that can be used to help with this. She thought that once these things are taught, Kai’s curiosity would be satisfied for the next five years or so.

Now, I was raised in a home where my parents never talked to us about such things. But, I understand the value in teaching your child about the body and being able to have an open dialogue about sexuality. Still, that doesn’t mean that it will be easy.

My son just turned seven years old. What do we teach him now? How far do we go? What is more appropriate for later? Are there special issues in teaching a boy with autism that differ from teaching other children? I don’t even want to think about the stims he might have once he reaches puberty.

I knew all this would have to be addressed at some point. But, I suppose I had my head in the sand thinking that we wouldn’t have to worry about it for a few more years.

So, we need to prepare ourselves. While I try to calm down, can anyone suggest some resources that can help us?


  1. Ok, I've got no advice on this one except you've definitely got to explain exactly what is and is not appropriate, in specific terms. Sorry Yuji, not much help on this one!

  2. Oh yes, we're definitely telling him what is not appropriate. :) The rest, we're still thinking about.

  3. We have taken the biological approach with our son. We have given him texts on the human body. He knows the concepts of Genetics and basic Anatomy...I will be using texts in the future to help explain about human sexuality. He still hasn't put together exactly how the genes are transferred from male to female.

    Actually...I had no idea until I was 12 yrs. old. I remember when I was first told by some neighborhood boys. I thought they were trying to trick me. Sex was not a topic for discussion in our household when I was young either. My dad had bought texts on human sexuality for me to "discover" in the family library.

    I was actually glad that I learned this way. I still think that human sexuality is a sacred subject...not in anyway bad...just sacred.

    I prefer that my son should learn of the nature of romantic love and sexuality being an extension of that rather than as two separate subjects.

    I love Korean and Japanese dramas...they are very chaste...and speak of affairs of the heart. I shall start here as the top priority in human relations...I figure the rest can follow in due course.

    I am in no way espousing you follow suit...a parent knows his child and his needs most of all. Just laying out our plan. I am sure you will find the best time and way. From reading your and your wife's parenting skills are already exemplary.

  4. I, too, would still like to believe that sexuality should be an extension of romantic love. Not sure how many people still feel that way. Interesting about the Korean and Japanese dramas. I wonder if they'll stay chaste for much longer.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...