The Ministry of Community Development directed parents of children with autism to the need to deal with their psychological and emotional needs during puberty, in a thoughtful and scientific manner that ensures their safe transition to that stage, stressing that they have the same feelings and needs as their peers at this age, and that they only have their parents as a reliable source for sexual education.
The Ministry has adopted the “Transitional Phase Guide for Families with Autism Disorder from Adolescence to Adulthood”, as a reference for parents to rely on in following the correct instructions and procedures in dealing with their children during this critical age for adolescents of all groups, stressing that the autistic child has sexual needs that need Educational and guiding, which is exactly the same as the needs of adolescents who do not have autism.
The guide alerts parents to the difficulty of this stage for all adolescents, but it represents a greater difficulty for the autism category than others, which requires the need to prepare for them before that stage through a clear explanation of the physical changes that will occur to them as a result of the transition to adulthood.
The guide stresses the importance of emphasizing to autistic adolescents that this stage, with its psychological and physical variables and emotional and sexual needs, is a normal stage, not strange, and there is nothing frightening in it, and it represents a bridge towards moving to another stage of life, to which a person moves regardless About its capabilities, nature, health and psychological characteristics.
The evidence indicates that many parents feel anxious and nervous when it comes to teaching their children about sexual matters, especially children with autism, and that they mistakenly think that autistic children are less susceptible to issues related to these matters.
The guide shows that these children are more in need of sexual education and education through parents because they are less likely to learn about them from other sources such as reading, movies and friends, as parents are the most important and only source for introducing them to the correct information about sexual issues, and the guide also points to the need to educate children Autism The difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, and the distinction between different types of healthy relationships.
The guide calls for adopting the developmental approach in teaching sexual education to children and adolescents with autism like any other subject, by following a series of procedures and steps that build understanding of information, acquiring skills and teaching behavior step by step, stressing the importance of encouraging appropriate behavior and stopping at any action. or inappropriate behaviour.
According to the guide, specialists in the sciences of “autism and sex” have identified basic topics to be axes for sexual education for adolescents, including the autism category, which includes the subject of the body, privacy and boundaries related to touch, expressing affection and social skills, and preventing exploitation, in addition to teaching them the difference between the year. And about body parts and behaviors.
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