When it comes to topics like birth control and people with special needs, there is not a clearly defined answer as to what is right and wrong. I can see both sides of the debate, and I don’t think that it is an issue with a concrete question. We need to take into account the needs of the child.
Teenagers with autism experience the same desires as children with out it. They have the same hormones coursing through their bodies as the rest of us did at that age. Some teens have the ability to discuss this subject with their parents while others don’t. Parents of children with autism will all have to deal with their child’s sexuality at some point.
To force a teenager to take birth control seems cruel to some, logical to others. It has been compared to chemical castration, and condemned by pro-life groups. I do understand their point, it is everyone’s right to decide what happens to their own body. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention why parents might want to make the decision to put their child on birth control. There are many people in this world who prey on the mentally disabled. I worry every day that a sex offender will in some way try to harm my autistic child.
A teenager with autism has the same body as a child without, so someone who might try to take advantage will see nothing physically wrong with that child. They will be able to pick out his or her vulnerability, and can take advantage of it. As a parent, it would break my heart to find out that a sex-offender not only violated my child, but got her pregnant as well. So I see the desire to use birth control to prevent this, but this is the only case scenario that I believe would warrant birth control use.
The sad fact is that some people believe that we, as parents of autistic children, should not let our children reproduce ever. If my child wants to have a family as an adult, I will fully support that. I say this knowing that I will have to be as integral a part of my grandchildren’s lives as I have been my own children. It is my child’s right to make this choice, not mine
In a perfect world, no one wants to see their teenager pregnant. It is not legal, as far as I know, to force a “normal” teenager to take birth control. The difference between that and my child is that my child does not have the ability to refuse medical treatment. I am the sole decision-maker when it comes to my child’s medical treatment. When my child is old enough to be involved in sexual activity, I don’t think that I will force birth control. That is my decision, I cannot speak for another parent because I have not walked a mile in their shoes.