Autistic Girls Face Three Times the Risk of Sexual Assault

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TwilightPrincess
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15 Feb 2024, 3:18 pm

^ I was referring to that study in particular. I’ve made multiple threads on this general topic because it’s SO important and affects SO many autistics.


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cyberdad
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15 Feb 2024, 3:24 pm

Jono wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
My daughter is 18 and has had male NT friends in highschool whom at least one she allowed to kiss her. When my wife and I thought she was being possibly taken advantage off she as the male involved made her feel kissing was normal, I am still not 100% sure she complied because she wanted to reciprocate or because he brainwashed her? She keeps saying he's just a friend (not a boyfriend).

Nows she's in college the same boy managed to get her phone number and call her, She at least stood up for herself and told him she is too busy now to meet up. I'm hoping she understood now that she was being manipulated.


Why don't you ask her? I'm not sure that we should think that people aren't capable of consenting just because they're on the spectrum.


She talks about this stuff with mum, If I ask she makes it clear it's not my business.



TwilightPrincess
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15 Feb 2024, 3:25 pm

What does your wife think now?


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cyberdad
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15 Feb 2024, 3:32 pm

The problem we have had in the past is broaching the topic altogether. In her younger teen years she completely misconstrued the meaning of having a crush. While most NT teens have a crush on a boy they never act on that feeling. Unfortunately my daughter got some bad advice (from an adult!) that if she has a crush on a boy she should tell him. This resulted in her freaking out a couple of teenage boys who thought she was being overbearing.

She apparently told her grandma last night she got upset because she saw one of these boys at college and went and sat next to him to say "hi". He told her to go away and she was upset. I keep hearing this stuff from other people as she doesn't tell me.

I think she is capable of standing up for herself but I feel she is really vulnerable in terms of consent, it's summer now and she's into wearing micro-shorts on campus. I respect her independence and hope she can learn things for herself but I feel there are going to be times where she needs to understand what boys are thinking/ulterior motives.



cyberdad
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15 Feb 2024, 3:33 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
What does your wife think now?


She is less stressed about than I am, but part of this (according to my wife) is just regular girl teen talk



TwilightPrincess
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15 Feb 2024, 3:44 pm

Your wife might want to have a talk with her, show her videos, or something like that. I feel like short shorts aren’t the biggest problem. I never wore short shorts in college but experienced an assault. (My problem wasn’t just about being autistic. Growing up, I was highly sheltered as a fundamentalist homeschooler, received no sex ed, and was incredibly timid. That sort of stuff.) The biggest issue is probably most often centered around difficulties understanding that someone might have ulterior motives. Sometimes we are too apt to trust a person who appears nice (but isn’t) which can put us in dangerous or vulnerable situations. It’s really important to have a grasp on what consent is and isn’t too. Most college assaults happen at parties and in dorms. They often involve drinking and/or being drugged.

It is a really uncomfortable thing to talk about though. I wouldn’t have wanted to talk about it with my parents, not that they ever tried. Maybe your daughter would be more receptive to watching or reading stuff on her own. Just a thought.


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uncommondenominator
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15 Feb 2024, 4:47 pm

TwilightPrincess wrote:
DanielW wrote:
One factor that is always overlooked is that ABA "therapy" stresses absolute compliance to instruction - and not being able to say "NO" without fear of negative consequences.

I didn’t know about that. That’s really disturbing.


It actually doesn't, though.



DanielW
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15 Feb 2024, 5:40 pm

of course it does - thats the main premise - to stop- undesirable behaviors and teach compliance.



DanielW
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15 Feb 2024, 5:54 pm

cyberdad wrote:
DanielW wrote:
One factor that is always overlooked is that ABA "therapy" stresses absolute compliance to instruction - and not being able to say "NO" without fear of negative consequences.


Are you taking about saying no to strangers, partners or family members?


Do you think a 4 year old is going to understand the distinction? The goal its to teach compliance to instruction by the one giving the orders. Doctors, teachers, aides, etc.



TwilightPrincess
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15 Feb 2024, 6:54 pm

ABA is not something that I’ve researched in-depth. I wonder if different people have different experiences with it as with other forms of therapies/interventions.

I didn’t mean for this thread to get off-track from the initial topic. We could start a separate thread about ABA specifically. In this thread, I’d prefer to focus more on the issue of SA for people on the spectrum. I didn’t have ABA or any form of intervention or therapy when I was a kid. Play therapy probably would have helped me with my anxiety and panic attacks.


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DanielW
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15 Feb 2024, 7:07 pm

I didn't mean to derail your thread T. P. and bring in ABA, but at the same time Autonomy, including Bodily Autonomy and Self-Confidence are SO much intertwined in both.



TwilightPrincess
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15 Feb 2024, 8:02 pm

^ No, it’s cool. Those things are important.

Speaking of self-confidence, I found this study regarding survivors of SA in college interesting:

Quote:
A study Rothman coauthored last year underscores the need for better services. It sampled more than 250,000 students—about 1,400 of them autistic—at 78 colleges and universities, finding that sexual assault caused grades to plunge for 36 percent of non-autistic college-student survivors, and 80 percent for autistic survivors.

“They’re not sure where to turn or how to get help or how to feel better,” Rothman says. “And all of our systems on college campuses and in the world are set up to help non-autistic people.” For example, making a counseling appointment can be challenging for autistic people, who may have difficulty with executive function.

“You have to make the appointment, locate the office, show up there at the right time,” she says. “You have to announce yourself.… That could be totally overwhelming and enough to make you not want to do it. So if you don’t have an option for people to Zoom in instead of showing up in person, right there you’re going to probably lose a lot of your autistic audience.”

https://www.bu.edu/articles/2022/helpin ... l-assault/

I was kind of the opposite as far as my grades were concerned. As a way to escape my problems, I became obsessed with school and got perfect grades moving forward even though the rest of my life was in smoldering ruins.


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16 Feb 2024, 8:02 am

cyberdad wrote:
TwilightPrincess wrote:
Children shouldn’t be taught not to say “no” OR be urged to engage in absolute compliance to anyone. After all, children are most often abused by family members and acquaintances. I haven’t raised my son with the concept that older people are more worthy of respect than younger people.

However, I’d appreciate it if we kept to the topic of sexual abuse among autistic girls and women.


Is there a connection between ABA and vulnerability to predators down the track?


Good question. I wasn't able to run down any research that studied the link, but for ... well ... political reasons, I suspect that conducting such research wouldn't be good for one's career. All I could find are some articles that make a compelling argument that it does.

https://stopabasupportautistics.home.bl ... t-consent/

Which links here:

https://www.fatherly.com/parenting/teac ... espect-sex



autisticelders
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16 Feb 2024, 8:17 am

DanielW wrote:
One factor that is always overlooked is that ABA "therapy" stresses absolute compliance to instruction - and not being able to say "NO" without fear of negative consequences.


yes, this! for years from a very early age young women have been trained to please others at any cost to themselves, and punished for anger, etc. Social conditioning has a lot to do with this, and autistic individuals seeing rules as rules take them to heart and are more likely to obey anybody telling them they must do anything and probably less likely to resist. Long before there was ABA, most girls were trained by those same methods, only with more corporal punishment than seems to be acceptable in most areas of society today. Slapping, spanking, whipping was not uncommon to many of us born before 1980. "for our own good"


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TwilightPrincess
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16 Feb 2024, 10:36 am

I was born in 1984 and was spanked with a belt and slapped regularly - much more regularly than my brother was, but I was naturally more independent and headstrong - traits that I encourage in my own kid. Anyway, that was considered normal where I lived and in my religious community. My parents weren’t happy when I chose not to use corporal punishment on my own son. They called me a “permissive parent.” :roll:

I feel like this stuff combined with other s**t contributed towards me staying in my abusive marriage for WAY longer than I should have. It was hard to stand up for myself and leave when my upbringing made me a doormat and made me think that I didn’t even matter.

I think an even bigger issue was my inability to see red flags in the beginning due to social difficulties. Looking back, there were red flags that I was completely oblivious to at the time. I tended to take people at their word without realizing that there could be ulterior motives involved. I suspect that this is a big reason why we are more susceptible to experiencing abuse. We seem like easy targets for this and other reasons. My ex said that I was “sweet and innocent.” He’d always say it in a creepy way, reminding me of Grima from Lord of the Rings. Anyway, I think my apparent innocence played a role in his choosing to target me and not someone else. It’s not like he couldn’t have easily found someone else.


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Harmonie
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16 Feb 2024, 9:23 pm

Okay, this makes a lot of sense to me. I dealt with some creepy guys when I was in my teens. I've always felt both scared and embarrassed looking back and recalling that I had no clue that they were being creepy to me. I couldn't read it back then. I can now, but back then I was clueless.

Those interactions never went anywhere serious, I do want to clarify. My point is merely that I can see how not being able to read people makes you much more vulnerable. What I *did* deal with that was more serious I don't know if I'd attribute to this, and thankfully did realize that was wrong at the time.

I wonder what we can do to minimize this risk for autistic girls? Of course, like me.. I'm only now at age 35 recognizing that I may be autistic, so, I don't know. Raising awareness can only do so much when a teenager like me wouldn't have ever given the thought of being autistic one second. If I even knew the word at all.


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