Help! My daughter won’t stop “dry humping”!

My 2.5 year old daughter was diagnosed with ASC last year and we’re slowly getting to grips with the challenges this faces us.

One thing that we cannot solve and would appreciate advice on is her constant “dry humping” on our legs, furniture, toys and floor.

We’ve been adviced it’s a sensory thing, and even had her urine checked for any potential infections, which came out all clear.

We’ve tried everything to stop her, including playing with her, taking her away from object/ leg, bathing and iPad with her favourite cartoons, but sometimes she won’t stop!

Sometimes she will make herself sore, but with some Sudocream application this seems to help.

She seems to go in to a real trance when doing it too!

Has anyone else experienced this please? 

Any advice is appreciated!

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  • Hi Papa,

    Have you had any input yet from behavioural therapists about this issue?  Sounds like you've tried aversion techniques - though simply trying to stop her might make things worse. A traditional aversive approach most often will not work, and the behaviour will need to be worked with for often a long time in order to effect a 'change'.  I have, though, checked around on the internet, and it seems this is quite a common thing with young autistic children. 

    I work with young adults who are highly autistic, and they can have similar behaviour and rituals - mostly, as you say here, for sensory stimulation.  The hypo-sensitive ones in particular will spend long periods of time doing things like showering, jumping up and down, spinning, rocking, etc - even to the point of causing soreness on occasions.  Similarly with genital stimulation.

    A behaviour therapist is really what you need, though others may have some more direct experience and be able to give you pointers.  You could start by looking here, though:

    Behaviour

    There's a book here, which you might also find useful if you've not seen it:

    Autism: Understanding Behaviour

    All the best,

    Tom

Children