Comments for Inappropriate Touching

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Oct 12, 2011
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I'd give a consequence
by: Anonymous

I suggest that you, the parent, need to give a consequence for inappropriate touching. This can be done in a matter-of-fact way, so he can learn this necessary lesson asap. I speak from experience here. My stepson has mild autism and has had trouble with boundaries. When he hit puberty...you can imagine. His mother made up excuses for him. This summer, at the age of 23, he stood above me as I sat in a chair, and he shook my left shoulder violently. I looked up, squirming away, and saw his gaze fixated on my left breast, which of course was shaking. Long story, but I had it out with him. He maintained he wouldn't do that to people "outside the family" and I said that proved he knew what he was doing, and that he had no right to do it with anyone. He claimed he wasn't as bad as he was 11 years ago, and I said this wasn't a matter of seeing just how much he could get away with. He told me to "focus on the positive" and "not get upset" (quotes from excuse-making mother who by the way can't stand to live with him). I told him that he had no right to tell me how to react, that any woman would be furious, and that he didn't have the right to live in my home and expect me to put up with that kind of behavior. I reinforced a zero-tolerance policy.

We make up excuses for children/teens/young adults with developmental disabilities, saying they don't know boundaries. This is just half the truth. The other half is that these people just don't process stuff in a "normal" way and don't understand why their behaviors are so upsetting to others. Giving consequences is the best way to teach what's wrong. There needs to be a zero-tolerance policy so the child can't experiment with how far he can push before there's a limit.

Bottom line: it's not just about the child. It's about the people whom this person touches. A child who grows up without learning to respect limits won't be able to hold a job, have a social life, or live with others. He may not be able to stay out of jail.


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