How to manage frequent name changes?

How we do support our transgender and nonbinary children with autism spectrum disorder when they want to change their names frequently? Dead-naming is a huge trigger but it can be very stressful for parents and allies trying to accurately manage frequent name changes. So how do we support every aspect of our children without added stress and conflict?


What is causing the repeated name changes?

Always to figure out what is driving a behaviour before trying to manage it. Find out what events, experiences, or difficulty arise that may potentially lead to the name changes. Older children may dislike to probing and quizzing and children with ASD may have difficulty articulating their thoughts and desires verbally. Once you know the root causes, you can support our children to manage and help them develop skills around the difficulties to reduce the frequency of future name changes.


Set Limits (In advance)

Every healthy relationship requires healthy strong boundaries and setting limits does not have to be this huge all-out-war. It's okay to be vulnerable about our worries and reluctance (not anxiety) with our children. Letting them know that humans all make mistakes and frequent name changes can lead to frequent dead-naming. It's okay to veto inappropriate names or names you dislike. It's okay to set a limit on the amount of time before the next name change. Discuss and rehearse for situations where conflicts inevitably happen.


Reach out to your therapy team to support you with communication and conflict management. Seek out psychologists or counsellor who specializes in gender and/or neurodiversity for strategies and additional support.


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©2019 by Cherish Pediatric Therapy, Burnaby,British Columbia, Canada