I had a shock today with my 7 year old daughter...I discovered underarm hair. The immediate thoughts that ran through my head...deodorants and all the horror medical stories we read about using them...when does she start shaving...training bras and then the dreaded 'monthly visitor' or whatever name I settle on that will be used forever in our house!
I have always been very open with Sarah and John, I leave tampons sitting in the bathroom, they have seen me using them, I have tried to explain as best I could I wasn't dying and this was all completely normal. Using safe language so if they repeated it in the playground I would not receive a visit from the head master.
In my head I was the cool super mum and when the day came it would all be as normal as Sarah announcing she needed a new pair of shoes. I just wasn't ready for the shoe shop before the age of 10! No doubt I will be on Amazon later ordering numerous books to explain what is happening to her. Then I realised us ladies have all went through this, I don't know anyone who had such an awful first period experience they have even felt the need to share it. This will just be a mummy job I need to do using easier to understand words.
Then it made me think if I'm stressing about explaining all these changes to Sarah how does a mother or father explain to a non verbal child or a child who has a body much older than their brain? So I Googled! I found completely unhelpful advice and a research document that concluded you should talk to your child. It then noted most of the evidence in the paper was based on non disabled teenagers! I Googled again with 'non verbal' to be more specific. This resulted in many forums appearing about people discussing puberty in autistic children.
Basically there is very little guidance and I suspect if you asked your Doctor you would also receive a similar standard response. If you have any words of support or guidance do share them online on the forum. As much as I am dreading the taboo subject about to enter our household I am extremely grateful that we will both be able to talk about it.
If you have any hints or tips on dealing with puberty or if you would like to ask the Firefly Community http://community.fireflyfriends.com/community/viewcategory/6
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