Growing Up: Preparing for Menstruation

  • Situation

    I have a 4th grade student who is developing rapidly.  Her mother is not sure how to talk to her and teach her about menstruation and how her body is changing.  I’m not sure how to address this either.  Do you have any ideas to help?

  • Summary

    The topic of puberty and menstruation can be uncomfortable for both parents and teachers of children with or without disabilities.  For families and teachers, recognizing that children and students are physically starting to become adults can be challenging and scary.  There are some valuable resources to help parents and teachers explain the changes that will take place as children reach puberty.  It is important for girls to be prepared for both the hormonal and physical changes that will take place.  Utilizing the appropriate resources will depend on the cognitive level of the child.  For some girls, teaching the appropriate responses to the things that will be happening to their bodies will be most important.

  • Definition

    Utilizing curriculum materials, visuals aids and stories, parents and teachers can prepare girls for the changes that will occur during puberty.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    access to the related resources

  • Process

    1. Determine the appropriate level of instruction for your child/student (i.e. how to respond to physical changes and/or a scientific approach as to how the human body changes as we age).

    2. Review available resources and identify teaching tools and strategies.

    3. Using materials, visual aids and stories, make time to teach your daughter/student during regularly scheduled times.

  • Documents and Related Resources

    puberty and ASD (PDF article)


    Taking Care of Myself (sample retail site to purchase Taking Care of Myself: A Hygiene, Puberty and Personal Curriculum for Young People with Autism)


    Marsh Media ( link to Marsh Media: Special Needs Puberty and Social Skills products and curriculum)


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