For many young men diagnosed with ASD, having a girlfriend is an important indicator that he is closer to becoming an adult. For most guys a first girlfriend is a milestone, like being able to walk to school alone, shave, take the bus or train by yourself, or getting a driver’s license. For some boys there is passion and sexual feelings - emotions and experiences that are new and exciting. Some boys diagnosed with ASD may experience the sexual urges as well, but the romantic and passionate feelings are usually not a recognized part of their experience.
For this week’s blog, I would like to veer off the script to talk about a topic that has been at the forefront of the national news in the past few weeks. Recently, I was interviewed on a local television station’s evening news in the wake of the arrest of two Florida children, ages 12 and 14, for bullying a 12-year-old girl who ended up committing suicide. Just prior to asking me questions, a short video clip was shown that included an interview with a police officer who pointedly blamed the parents for not monitoring the cell phone texting of their children. The reporter then asked for my opinion, and whether I supported the officer’s viewpoint that this was entirely the parents’ fault.