Sexual dysfunction in young adult men with autism

My son is 23 and has a diagnosis of autism and a mild learning disability. He is sexually active, to date mainly one night stands, and I am working with him on issues around promiscuity, respect and building relationships. However, he suffers from sexual dysfunction. He tells me he is unable to achieve and/or sustain an erection. We have discussed with his GP who has prescribed a low dose of anti depressant to help with underlying anxiety/mood issues which the GP felt may be a factor in the sexual dysfunction. Three months on there is no improvement. He has had a longer relationship and did actually spend some time getting to know his partner before embarking on a sexual relationship but even in this context he tells me he had the same problem. I think the problem may be related to his autism as he is otherwise a healthy young man. His GP says he has no knowledge of any psychosexual services locally that he could refer my son to so we are a bit perplexed as to how to get him some help with this problem which is causing him a lot of concern and anxiety. If you have a son with similar problems I’d be very grateful to hear if you’ve been successful in identifying services/resources that might be of help.

Hi Terry … a very valid subject which many would balk at answering ?

My recommendation … National Autism Society … they seemed geared up meet this problem head on :



Expert top tips - sex and relationship education.

Developing adult bodies and sexual interests and feelings is normal progression for all young people, but those on the autism spectrum, it may be particularly difficult. Read on for six top tips on how to approach the subject of sex and relationships with young autistic people.

Sex education


Sex education and puberty.

Here are some ideas for talking to your child about puberty, sex, sexuality and relationships, as well as links to some useful resources. You can also read our top tips for sex education.

A real , valid , practical problem … I hope the NAS will be of some use to you and your son.

( A case of disabled / less abled citizens not enjoying the same freedoms / rights as " Normal " citizens ? )

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