Welcome to our Message Board! We are so excited that you found us! The information you shared about your son is wonderfully detailed! Oscar sounds so sweet!
First of all, I really want to congratulate you for picking up on all of the challenges he is having, you are so in tune with your son! This ability to notice where he is having difficulty will really really help you help him!
To address the challenge of self stimulation which you bring up in your question, I would first like to say that in The Son-Rise Program we firmly believe that our children at all times are doing their particular behaviors for very great reasons- often as a way to best take care of themselves… Our children are so smart, and so whether they are stimming, self stimulating, button pushing, head banging, making various sounds, etc. they are doing all of this with purpose. The behaviors which we may not quite understand (yet) actually help our children cope with the unpredictable world around them, or these behaviors help their bodies create an equilibrium with all the various sensory sensitivities they experience daily.
Now knowing this, when Oscar is self stimulating and rubbing particular objects between his legs, rather than stopping him, telling him “no” or that its “wrong” we want to come from the belief that he is doing this as a way to take care of his body, and for him that particular sensation feels good.
Now with our children on the autism spectrum we want to create consistency (this is how we make an impact with our children). So what I might try is taking a moment to speak with the people that are going to be a part of his life at school: teachers, aids, therapists, etc. and take the time to explain to them how you would love if each of them as influential people in Oscar’s life could decide to be really loving and accepting of this behavior… without judgment. --- Take the time to sit down with them and come up with some replacement beliefs to “the behavior is wrong”… instead it might be “what Oscar is doing is taking care of his body in the best way he knows how, lets help him understand some places where this is more appropriate” lets be loving, easy and guide him!
It may be that when the people in his life react to him doing this they may actually be encouraging it. … it may be that in his life he knows that when he rubs himself people move away, give him the space he had been wanting, or that when he touches himself the people around him actually get really big and exciting (“no” “don’t do that” “that’s wrong” – all of which is attention that he is getting). As a team of people in his life, as I mentioned earlier, try to come to a decision on how you want to react to this… something we would suggest is using loving explanations
. Rather than telling him to stop, or that is it wrong, try instead saying” if you want to touch yourself or rub yourself you can do it in the bathroom, or your bedroom, there is a place for you do to that” . He may then go to the bathroom or his bedroom – Wonderful! Celebrate him for this and continue to remind him this is the place where he can help his body in that way.
The other thing I would suggest is booking a call with one of our Family Counselors free of charge. They will be able to answer any questions you may have about our program and how it can further benefit Oscar and yourself. Please do call (877) SON-RISE or (877) 766-7473. I very much hope you call as we would absolutely love to help you and share more of the Son- Rise Program with you!