Having an autistic child who does not want to be touched or hugged can be very frustrating to a parent. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to hold your own child. Some parents who are faced with this challenge often resort to waiting until their child has fallen asleep before they actually hold him.
Children who do not want to be touched or held often have Sensory Integration Disorder which makes the child oversensitive to touch. Due to this, your child will avoid physical contact not just from you but from everyone else because he does not like the overwhelming sensation he feels when he is held or touched.
When this happens, do not take it personally. Many people are quick to think that their child’s avoidance means that their child does not like them. This is simply not true. Your child is not avoiding you. But rather, he is avoiding the overwhelming feeling that he feels whenever he is touched. Keep in mind that your child’s avoidance is not a reflection of your parenting style nor is it a reflection of your child’s feeling towards you.
With that thought in mind, it is best that you do not force the issue. Do not get mad when he does not want to hug you nor should you make him feel bad for not wanting to be touched. Do understand that this does not have anything to do with you.
While all this may seem frustrating and challenging, always remember that all hope is not lost. As long as you are patient and are willing to explore and discover ways to connect with your child, there will always be hope that you can one day be able to engage in some sort of physical contact no matter how brief and small it may seem like.
When trying to connect with your child, always remember to observe and follow your child’s signals. Do not over impose yourself on him and do not get in his way. You do not want to intrude nor to disturb him. What you want to do is to slowly and carefully enter his world until such time that your child has made the association that you are part of the activity that he is doing. Just be patient and continuously explore ways by which you can be physically closer to your child. It will take a lot of time but you will eventually get there.