Autistic Teenagers and Love
When your toddler is diagnosed with autism, you don’t know what to expect. You don’t know which milestones will be met, if they will be verbal or non-verbal, or what the future holds. Nobody knows, autistic or not.
As an infant, my son with autism hated to be touched, cuddled or kissed. But mountains of OT and a sensory processing diagnosis later, he loves his deep hugs (massive proprioception seeker). Yet, I still had no idea how the whole relationship avenue would go.
And more importantly, how would I help him navigate through it all or do I just leave him to his own devices?
But then there was a crush.
And then a relationship.
Now it’s been close to 6 months of witnessing my autistic teenager and love.
It’s so beautiful I could burst!
Autistic Teenagers and All The Feels
I think it’s really important for people to not get hung up on a diagnosis. The important part is the individual person, and how they think and feel, who they are as a person and their emotional growth. Autistic teenagers get the feels too.
We are enjoying my autistic teenagers feels…and there are a lot. Why wouldn’t there be? He’s still a teenager! Everything is new and exciting and amplified and fabulous.
And this relationship has been good for him. Since I always go to the therapeutic benefits of everything, I’ll dissect that here.
Benefits of Autistic Teenagers and All The Feels…
- Cuddles. My infant who couldn’t stand touch is snuggling. The best OT ever.
- Double Dates. No matter how much I’ve tried, his table manners are atrocious. Does anyone even use that word? It applies here. Anyways, he’s self-motivated to use his manners when we go out to eat with her.
- New light. Since I get to witness her affection for him, I get to see him as his own person more. His independence.
- Social Skills. Okay, I know I shouldn’t be hung up on this, but they laugh and talk for hours. He’s learning to not talk over her and HE ACTUALLY LISTENS TO WHAT SHE HAS TO SAY. Amazing!
Autistic Teenagers and Love and FEAR
Yes, there are many benefits to this young love relationship, but it has brought up some fears for me. I know the heartbreak that is to come. Emotional regulation is not his strongest skill. His feelings are often bigger than him, taking over. Will she break his heart? Or will he break hers? So many social and emotional complications could be on the horizon to work through.
And since this love journey that he’s embarked on is new to both of us, it’s started a lot of discussions. Love, respect, no means no and consent, porn, pleasure, birth control, STDs, all of it. I send him articles and we have watched age appropriate teaching videos. Well, it’s mostly me talking but occasionally I’ll get a question or a response. He’s interested in what I have to say, as long as I keep it short.
I do it because I’m his mom and it’s my job. Often things take a million times for him to learn and this content is no different. It’s the birds and the bees, and if you don’t talk to them they will get all their info from the internet. How’s that for a scary thought?!?!
Autistic Teenagers and All The Feels…
So like a Justin Beiber song, we are embracing the love, and the feels, and everything that goes along with it. And I have no doubt, it’s going to be an amazing, in all it’s messy glory, journey.
PEACE AUTISM & LOVE PEACE AUTISM & LOVE PEACE AUTISM & LOVE