Unacceptable touching is one of our current biggest problems. We are pleased to say that generally he is much better at just hugging people. The school have been great in reinforcing that you must ask first, and it is unacceptable touching if someone does not give permission. When doing so, they noticed how hard that was, because they themselves go to “touch” without asking first – a hand on the shoulder for example. The difference of course being that they can read the signals, and know what is considered unacceptable touching. Our Sensory Seeker still wants to give great big bear hugs even when the other person has said no, and can even be running away. I think one of the most difficult things for him to comprehend was the fact that he could ask and then the other person could say no.
Unacceptable Touching Himself in Public
Now it seems that this Sensory Seeking Sensation has shifted his unacceptable touching to himself, by this of course I mean his privates in public. He does not understand that it is unacceptable touching to himself, as and when he pleases (at school for example). He is constantly putting his hand down his pants, even in public. We keep telling him to take his hands out at home (and physically doing so), and I think he is a little too cognitively delayed to understand.
Well we talked about the unacceptable touching during #SENBloggers, and through talking I thought that I was maybe being a little harsh on him. I have to remember that he has a cognitive developmental delay, that actually if he was the age that he’s at developmentally for some areas then it wouldn’t be such a big deal. So to really just carry on with the methods I’d be using if he was younger – explaining it’s not appropriate to touch there at that time; to remove his hands to prevent him for touching, and so on. If this does not work, and another suggestion, was to use visual cues to explain this to him, I am going to look for social stories on the matter, or may even make my own.
Since having this conversation he does not even seem to have been doing it as much – but instead has been playing at being the Hulk and stripping all of his clothes off in the garden (fingers crossed he doesn’t do it at school!)
Do or have you had problems with unacceptable touching – or themselves or others? How do/have you handled it?