When the boys were first diagnosed, people kept telling me, “It'll get easier as they get older.” Obviously, those people had never raised autistic boys.
I am a single parent. I have twins, one high functioning and one low functioning. My low functioning son has run me through the gamit – last year we discovered he is an eloper, after jumping the fence and being found on the 91 freeway. He also jumped his grandparent's fence and was found on the Los Alamitos Army reserve Base. Now 13, he is in the middle of adolescence and has discovered masturbation. Yes, this is one topic where there is no help out there, on the internet or from doctors. People don't want to talk about it, but if you have a low functioning child who is not developed enough to ejaculate, he will pee, and pee everywhere. Behavioral therapists tell us to do social stories, which he memorizes but doesn't generalize. You can't take his reinforcer away – it's built in. We try to tell him that shower time is the time he can do that – the kid takes 20 – 30 minute showers now. Lucky kid - I'm lucky if I get 5 minutes. In fact, this morning, while I was taking that 5 minute shower, he did it again and peed all over the floor. The doctor is raising his prozac dosage, but doesn't have hopes that it will calm his behavior – it might make a 50 year old man less interested, but it's doubtful it will have that effect on a 13 year old boy. But we will try, because at this point, we will try anything. He mainly does this at night, when everyone is asleep, so there's no chance at redirecting his behavior. He will play with himself, then pee over the side of the bed, down the wall, and onto the floor. I discovered this when his room began to smell, but I couldn't find anything obvious – his bed is a loft bed against the wall, and there are baskets of toys and things under it. Only when I got down on the floor did I discover that there was a veritable flood of pee, the carpet was soaked beyond ruin, and the hardwood floors underneath were beginning to get moldy.
As they boys get older, I find myself wishing that just for a day, I had typical kids, and if that wasn't possible, wishing that everyone else had low functioning autistic kids, just so they'd really know what I go through.written by a mom who wishes to remain anonymous, based on subject matter