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I really mean it, it really is for a friend.  She has a 17 year old son and has found out that he has been reading some VERY explicit stories of a certain nature on a fanfiction website that is open to everyone.  The authors put ratings on their stories and blurbs, so the boy knew what he was getting when he opened the story files.  She is trying to decide what to do about it.  My initial gut reaction was to say let it go, he didn't know she would be going through his profile and find them.  They aren't stored on his computer.  His siblings aren't going to accidentally find it.  But the more I think about how truly graphic it was, it kind of turns my stomach a little for this kid.  His mom's first thought was to go to him about it, but she doesn't know what to say. Her concern, since you can't shut the barn door after the horse has left, is that these stories depict a not at all realistic picture of the relationships between people, and doesn't want him to go into his first experiences thinking that all women like or are willing to do what is written in these stories.

 

Some background on the boy: very good homeschooled kid, as far as they know he has never run into anything like this before.  They limit what he can watch to pg 13 or R that they have already previewed.  They know what books he checks out of  the library. He hasn't ever been out on a date, and doesn't really have any friends that he hangs out with.  So reading these things was probably very shocking to him, as he would have had little to no contact with these kinds of things outside of the birds and bees talk and talking about how to treat people no matter what their orientation is. He is on the spectrum, but is super high functioning.  The family is christian.

 

The mom doesn't want to talk to anyone in their real life about it for obvious reasons, so I said I would go to the fount of all knowledge and ask you guys.  If you h ave dealt with this before, can you please give her some advice?

Thanks!

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Hmmm, two questions.

 

He's seventeen and she's still stalking his browser content? Is she just finding out he has a penchant for this stuff? I think curiousity is strong and natural at that age. [ETA doesn't mean it a good thing for him to do, just "natural."]

 

And, how much physical activity does this guy get? Is he involved in any labor intensive work or participating in a sport of any sort? Idle hands and all...

Edited by Seasider
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Well, she wasn't stalking it, but a girl from the site was sending a lot of private messages that were disturbing him and she was going back through them.  She was looking at the girls profile and started digging around on the site when she found it. (he had used the family email to set up the account several years ago when he signed up) Also, he has Aspergers and is very sweet and neive so he had asked her for help with the situation.  As far as they know, this is his first go around with something like this. He doesn't play a sport or have a job. He has a LOT of down time.

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He's almost an adult. I'm not condoning what he did, but it sounds like it's way past time for them to loosen up the reins a bit. Or they're likely to end up with total rebellion in a year or two or a 30 year old still incapable of regulating his own life and making his own decisions. Given the current incident and the amount of control these parents are apparently exerting my guess is the former is more likely. A 17 yo should not be treated like a child. 

 

Okay, never mind the above -- In light of the additional info that he's an Aspie I think a gentle but thorough discussion is in order.

Edited by Pawz4me
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He's almost an adult. I'm not condoning what he did, but it sounds like it's way past time for them to loosen up the reins a bit. Or they're likely to end up with total rebellion in a year or two or a 30 year old still incapable of regulating his own life and making his own decisions. Given the current incident and the amount of control these parents are apparently exerting my guess is the former is more likely. A 17 yo should not be treated like a child.

 

Okay, never mind the above -- In light of the additional info that he's an Aspie I think a gentle but thorough discussion is in order.

Agreed! The additional info certainly changes the original post. A good discussion should be sufficient, maybe some controls on the web browser and blocking of emails.

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This is absolutely a job for the father, if there's one in the picture. I don't have a son but the idea of a father-daughter discussion of this would creep me out, so I'm thinking sauce for the goose. In any case I would not go deep into a discussion of the specifics of the content, which would be humiliating and invasive for the child. Just a general discussion that these things are written from a standpoint of fantasy and can harm his development in this area. I would decrease computer time and down time in general - not punitively, just being proactive about redirecting to other pursuits - and work to increase face to face social interactions with real girls and women.

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He's almost an adult. I'm not condoning what he did, but it sounds like it's way past time for them to loosen up the reins a bit. Or they're likely to end up with total rebellion in a year or two or a 30 year old still incapable of regulating his own life and making his own decisions. Given the current incident and the amount of control these parents are apparently exerting my guess is the former is more likely. A 17 yo should not be treated like a child. 

 

Okay, never mind the above -- In light of the additional info that he's an Aspie I think a gentle but thorough discussion is in order.

 

BUT for a typical teen, the crossed out is a big  :iagree: .  Also, you could end up with both the former AND the latter.  It happens...  

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Yeah I really don't think being an Aspie automatically slots a 17 year old straight back to being treated like a child, particularly in matters of sexuality.

 

Of course not. But statistically most kids on the spectrum are behind socially by a year or three. So in some matters it makes sense to take a different approach than one would with a NT teen of the same age.

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Aspie a are typically 2 to 3 years behind in emotional and social development. So while his biological development might be on target this also involves emotional and social aspects.

 

Since she discovered this in the context of trying to solve a problem that he asked for help in solving, I would be honest with him. I would tell him that she came across the stories. I would express my concern for how they portray women and relationships. But then I would bow out of it. I would tell him that there was an open door (esp with dad) if he wanted to discuss it.

 

 

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Aspie a are typically 2 to 3 years behind in emotional and social development. So while his biological development might be on target this also involves emotional and social aspects.

 

Since she discovered this in the context of trying to solve a problem that he asked for help in solving, I would be honest with him. I would tell him that she came across the stories. I would express my concern for how they portray women and relationships. But then I would bow out of it. I would tell him that there was an open door (esp with dad) if he wanted to discuss it.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I have an ASD kid and have found the idea I've heard, that social/emotional is about 2/3 to 3/4 of chronological, to be fairly accurate. But I think as you get into the higher age range there are considerations of self-perception that complicate that. In any case I like your approach. Depending on the dynamic between parent and child he may have even been consciously or unconsciously bread-crumbing mom and dad to that material, to get help with it.

 

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I went through something similar with my Aspie son about two years ago when he was 16. Both dh and I talked to him about the warping of values and our concerns but also talked to him about normal sexual development. At that time we removed the computer from his bedroom (again). Just in the last week we moved the computer back to his room. He is 18 now and starting community college in the fall, the room where it previously was gets pretty warm during the summer in Florida. But he knows that if he lives in our house he still has to follow our rules regarding no pornography. So I'm giving him room but also will check in occasionally. I would agree with pp that my Aspie is emotionally and socially 2-3 years delayed while intellectually quite advanced so it's always a balancing act.

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If the reading material was about illegal/evil acts (child abuse or rape for instance), then I'd get the kid to a child psychologist ASAP.  

 

If the materials indicate a type of sexuality that is likely to be traumatic to the child (i.e., gay sex when the family is part of an anti-gay church), then I'd get the kid to a child psychologist and the entire family to a family therapist. AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE SECULAR and not anti-gay, if that obvious fact needs stating. In *that* situation, the thing that matters most is that the parents/family get a grip and support their child and don't feed into the shame and trauma they are already likely experiencing. 

 

Otherwise, if the materials are "just" raunchy porn of the typical (if not horrifying) group sex/random sex/rough/kinky/etc stuff that is pretty much ubiquitous, then I would leave it alone, unless the child seems traumatized (perhaps by the parent's reaction) and might therefore benefit from a support person (therapist) outside the family and/or a family therapist to help heal the wounds caused by the parent(s)' reactions. 

 

Meanwhile, the family can put stronger/better internet filters/nannyware on the electronics the kid(s) have access to. I totally agree that it's not ideal or healthy for young people to be exposed to the unrealistic and largely horrifying porn that is out there . . . (nor to feed into an industry that is largely abusive and many times criminal). I'd be upset, too, if I were in the mom's shoes. It's horrifying to think that your innocent baby who hasn't even yet had wonderful, fun, healthy sex with a real life partner . . . is "poisoning" their mind with unrealistic and damaging images/thoughts about sex. It's pretty hard to avoid that stuff in this day and age . . . but nonetheless it is horrifying. I'd urge my friend not to make the harm worse by shaming or hurting her child. The curiosity and sexual urges are normal. The parents' reactions can make it worse or can moderate the damaging effects. 

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