My son, who is 11 years old and has mild autism, has been watching male to female surgery procedures on YouTube. I’ve asked him why and he says he thinks there’s something wrong in his head. He also says he wants to be like me – he seems to think he wants be female.
I really don’t know what to do. Please help.
I think the key is to keep communication open – let him know he can talk to you about what he’s feeling and reassure him all the time that, no matter what, he’ll always be your child and you’ll always love him.
I’d also recommend getting in touch with Mermaids, a charity that supports young people with gender identity issues and their families (020 8123 4819, mermaidsuk.org.uk).
I also think you should have more control over what he’s doing online – however grown up we think our kids are, they are very influenced by what they watch.
He’s only 11 and therefore very impressionable – these videos aren’t aimed at 11-year-olds. If he wants to find out more about sexual identity, it’s better that you choose the programmes or videos and watch them with him, so that you can talk about the issues afterwards.
* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your sex, family, health and relationship problems