#Autism: Sexually Inappropriate Behavior

We had an incident that occurred yesterday between Emmett and Gavin that not only has us concerned but also creeped out.

This is actually a bit uncomfortable to talk about but in the interest of honesty and me not losing my mind, I’m going to just put this out there. 

First of all,  I wasn’t present at the time.  I was picking up Elliott from school,  so Lizze was the lucky one stuck dealing with this until I got home.

Basically,  Emmett had run over to Gavin and put is face in Gavin‘s crotch.

Gavin apparently enjoyed the interaction because he encouraged Emmett to continue the game. Emmett got a kick out of Gavin‘s reaction and so he continued. It turned into Emmett kissing Gavin‘s crotch. When Lizze walked out of the kitchen and saw what was happening,  she witnessed Gavin close his legs when Emmett ran away and then spread them out wide and encourage Emmett to make a return trip.

As soon as Lizze realized what was going on,  she immediately sent Gavin to his room.

She called me right away because she was so upset by what she witnessed.

My immediate response was wanting to known what Gavin‘s intentions were. That’s something,  however,  that we may never know. The only thing we know for sure,  is that this behavior is,  without question, absolutely inappropriate. We spoke to Dr.  Patti last night and she said that regardless of his developmental delays or medical conditions,  he knows that behavior like that is inappropriate. 

We have to protect the boys from this type of behavior,  even if that means protecting them from Gavin.  There also has to be accountability for his choices. The consequences for this behavior must be swift and severe.

No comes the part that I irrationally struggle with.  Gavin‘s health is failing and no one can tell us if it’s going to continue getting worse or better.  Lizze and I both feel like we are losing him.

How do you discipline a child that is deteriorating in front of your very eyes?
The sexually aggressive behavior will absolutely stop…period.  However,  if we have limited time with Gavin,  I don’t want to spend it constantly correcting his inappropriate behavior. Does that make sense?  I don’t want to have my most recent memories of him throwing a fit or melting down because he’s being held accountable for his actions. 

I know that it’s probably not making much sense and I’m not wanting to give him a free pass.  I just wish he would make better choices so that his brothers would be safer and he could enjoy his life.
Does that make sense?.

Realistically,  we have to address these problems,  regardless of where Gavin happens to be on his journey.

It’s a really horrible position to be in and I know the right thing to do.  It’s just that I wish things were different. I wish Gavin didn’t have these problems.  I wish he made better choices and I wish I didn’t feel like we were on borrowed time. I just want to enjoy life and I want my kids to be kids and do the same.

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Did you ever figure out a realistic way to talk to your son to get through to him this is not ok? My son has done similar things to my daughter and I have no clue how to make it stop!!

Toni Morrison

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I have to be honest here, i have watched your UTube videos too, you are very hard on Gavin. You surely favor your biological boys, and perhaps you are looking for any excuse to get rid of Gavin? Own it, if you can't stand him that is how you feel, perhaps foster care would be a better alternative for Gavin? When I see you make him sit on his hands for so long and not comfort him when upset, it breaks my heart. I really believe CPS shoud get invoved. And stop whining and asking for money. There are plenty of social service programs, call your County. If your wife can get onine and video blog she is well enough for you to work. Just sayin it like I'm seein it. Yes it is tough having special needs kids, but there is no excuse for how you treat Gavin.


You really don’t see the full picture, do you? Gavin sits on his hands because if he doesn’t he will hit himself or punch himself. If he’s able to escalate that far, there’s no saying if he will punch something or someone else as well, and calming down will be an even harder task. Emotional regulation is not easy for someone with a disability such as Autism, let alone the myriad of problems Gavin has to deal with as well.

He obviously cares about Gavin, why do you think he gets so upset when something goes wrong? Why do you think he celebrates the positives and encourages him to grow?

If you really read through his blog, all of it, you’ll see how much he really cares for his children. Biological or not, they’re still his children and he loves them all. He’s already said Gavin is not a typical child, and typical discipline methods do not work. They’ve tried it. They also have the guidance of many doctors telling them that they’re doing the right thing.

I never see him ‘whining’ or ‘asking for money’. On a rare rare occasion he asked for donations for help once, and that was so they could try to move their family to a safer location- and then they had their van stolen and had to set that aside.

And video blogging = well enough to work? You must be joking. Video blogging can be done in the dark quietness of your bedroom with a cell phone, ipod, or tablet easily. You can take a few minutes when you’re not feeling terrible to update people about your life. But getting out there and working when you have health problems is incredibly hard.

I really hope you’re just someone trying to troll, but I honestly think you’ve just misunderstood and don’t see the whole picture.



Thank you for responding to \”concerned\”. This person has been cyber stalking us. This person had gone through and left similar comments on out youtube videos as well.

I told Lizze last night that Web should just ignore the comments but they just seem to enjoy sharing their opinions all over.

Everything you said is 100% true. Thank you for taking a stand. I really mean that:-)


I completely agree with Sila. This family has incredible amounts of love and perseverance. They are figuring out how to live with challenges that you and I really can't comprehend. They have been pushed to find novel ways to create a safe space for all their children because the more traditional methods don't work.

I grew up with a brother who was mentally and physically handicapped. One brother. This family has three children facing various challenges. I have some idea of how far disabilities can push loving parents. I believe my family handled its challenges well. But my parents could never have blogged about their family. There was too much shame in the situation, shame for the occasions they yelled, shame for the times they thought "I should have handled that better, I should be able to fix this." Shame because noone else could understand.

How do I express what this blogger is doing? He is dealing with the situation well enough that he can blog. He is helping others understand just how much effort goes into helping children with various mental and physical challenges. He is always looking for ideas that could work better, for professionals who can help his children. He puts his doubts, his fears out there to make them manageable. So they don't overwhelm him. The kind of mental and emotional reservoirs he must have are boggling.

He receives universal support from parents with disabled children. Perhaps you need to take a step back. Find what makes you blind to what the rest of us see.


Look, Concerned, we are all just trying to do the best with what we have been dealt. Very few of us are actively trying to mess things up. When someone tells you something honestly, something that makes them vulnerable (and difficult parenting issues always do), you can either have compassion for others, or we can stand in judgment. I encourage you to up your game, to walk on the compassion side.

And really, lay off about the money. If you don't want to give, don't. But I have often thought, as a parent, how grateful I was to be able to get a babysitter, or hire a tutor or buy school supplies. Really grateful — and cognizant of my good luck. And it is in that spirit that I would give money to a struggling family. And I would hope that they (or someone else) would give back to me, if the cases were reversed.


This is a very common problem that occurs. Just because a child may have a disability does not mean they do not develop sexually or have no sensations. You've got to teach him why that behavior was not appropriate, how he can have that sensation/pleasure in an acceptable way, and consequences for breaking that rule. If he's capable of understanding, then you can explain why he gets those sensations about why he gains pleasure through his crotch. During this time you definitely keep him supervised at all times and limit physical interactions with others to appropriate things such as handshakes, pat on the back, high fives, etc. This is just the next chapter you're going to deal with regarding all your kids, but I do suggest connecting with other parents for suggestions and help. Good luck!


This is very typical of a young boy Gavin's age (special needs or not). My husband said to remember back when you were his age and the hormones kicked in. We agree with Kathy about seperation and supervision but he may also need to deal with the urges appropriately. Both my husband and I have 3 special needs girls and have worked with so many others. What you can do is teach them that they can "relieve themselves" only in private. There are many social stories online about this to help. This is a typical behavior that everyone at sometime experiences, with someone with special needs they go about getting stimulation in the wrong way, so instead of punishing him teach him that this feeling is ok but when done in private only. The actions with his brother most definetely need to be stopped but don't take what he feels and punish it. You and your wife are doing a great job!

Kathy Kohl Buehler

After living in this version of hell, I can offer just two words: separation and supervision. The understanding of social behavior is not always present, which makes it about impossible for talk to get thru, tho the Lord knows, I did plenty of talking as well! Rules, boundaries, appropriateness, you name it, we covered it, but it still comes down to those 2 words. Bless you, and know that this behavior is quite common, just nobody likes to talk about it. Your kids are surely not the only ones, so don't think that. Another suggestion might be to see if you qualify for any in-home care covered by some insurances. Another person to provide hands and eyes. (I did live thru this, and so did the kid, if that is any consolation!)


Thank you so much Kathy:-)