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Teenage hormones

Alex Scope Posts: 1,307 Pioneering
Hi @PSHEexpert

I have a question from a community member who would like to remain anonymous. 
I've been struggling for awhile in helping my 16year old son who has  Downs, deal with his feelings. He understands now that he has two private rooms, the bathroom & his bedroom, but it's his amorous feelings I'm finding very difficult to explain to him. He hugs & strokes any girl or woman he likes. School are really proactive in helping but I find it embarrassing when he & I are out in the community & he just hugs someone. I'm constantly reminding him that hugs are for family only & I can often preempt a situation & talk to him before the situation arises. He's always asking to have girls stay over & share his bed. I've obviously not allowed this yet as he is only 16 but his hormones are raging & I'm not sure how to cope!! 

Any advice would be very much appreciated.


  • PSHEexpert
    PSHEexpert Member Posts: 170 Pioneering
    Hello!  That's a difficult (and very common) situation.  It's great that he's getting to grips with public and private - I would suggest backing the public and private 'places' work up with 'activities' and 'body parts' to give it more context and to reinforce that whenever possible with him.  School may already be doing this and have strategies in place for it and if so it may be helpful to use common phrases and rules so it's nice and clear for him.

    With regards the hugging etc:  have school encountered any issue with this, and what is their response?  Does it happen there?  I work in a specialist college for young people with LD and so on - we have a rule which is introduced right at the start of our students' time here which relates to touching, which is that the only place you can touch someone without their permission is to tap them on the shoulder to attract their attention.  We encourage seeking permission for anything else, which at least puts in a bit of a pause.  The issue for your young man is that whilst at the moment the hugging etc might be a bit inappropriate, as he gets older,  it may be perceived that he is acting without gaining someone's consent, which could be a real problem.

    I'd also be interested to know if he's doing any work at school about relationships boundaries - what you can do, with who, that kind of thing.  I think this can often be a useful piece of work to initiate as a group as it gives more context.

    There are other related bits and bobs to think about/look into which can be a bit sensitive to raise, so I hope it doesn't offend - but for example, has he done any learning about masturbating, or becoming a young man with sexual desires?

    I'd be really happy to pick this up with you in a more specific/personal way if you want to make contact directly - I'm at [email protected], please feel free to drop me a line.  (This would be confidential, of course.)
    - Gill 


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