Hands Up!

Archive for February 2011

As if puberty and autism/aspergers by themselves aren’t big enough on their own to deal with…… just wait until they collide! Just like any other child the onset of puberty and the teenage years can be one of confusion, hormones and moodiness (in some cases extreme moodiness), but when you add into the mix all the other issues that are associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, such as a need for order, OCD, sensory issues etc it can be come quite overwhelming for all involved and especially the child. To make matters worse this onset is getting younger all the time….. it is now considered to be perfectly normal for the onset of puberty to begin as early 9 years for girls and 10.5/11 years for boys, with the pre-pubescent stages starting often at 8 and 9 years such as the surge in hormones……. For many of us by the time our ASD kids are this age we have often only just gotten our heads around how they work and developed some sort of system that works keep the house ticking along in a relatively calm way, but now the rules have changed.

Things that you need to think of:


If your child has sensory issues, even before they actually need to shave it is important to introduce them to how a razor will feel on their skin, especially if they are going to need to use an electric shaver….


Are they happy to use roll on or spray deodorants, do they have sensory issues or aversions to different smells? All these factors need to be taken into account when choosing the right one…. thankfully there are lots of different ones available to choose from. PLUS its best to make this a part of the routine before odor becomes an issue.


If you have enough problems getting them in the shower once a week then you need to start a routine of more frequent showers. Plus if they have co-ordination issues they may want to start developing more independence around things like hair washing, try a shampoo bar as opposed to liquid shampoo they may find it easier.


Another one where starting a routine of face washing before it becomes a big problem. Try different products to see what they are most comfortable with, especially if they have sensory issues. There are lots of products on the market from scrubs, foaming cleansers and cleansing soap bars.


Some Articles that deal with this Issue and how to approach your ASD child about puberty:



http://www.autism-help.org/family-puberty-autism.htm (some of the data relating to onset are not as up to date)

Useful Book…..http://www.fishpond.co.nz/product_info.php?id=9781843103745




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