Growing and Learning

Growing and Learning is a series of books that have been written to support parents and carers of young people with learning disabilities. They're written in a relaxed 'parent to parent' style, but they can also be used by professionals working in the field. Book 1 covers puberty and body changes and personal hygiene, amongst other subjects. 

Periods

Tena pants are better than pads. Some contraceptive pills stop periods. You can also ask a gynaecologist to insert a Mirena IUD under a general anaesthetic, which lightens and stops periods.

Hormones and emotions

Be prepared for the emotional turbulence that comes with hormonal changes during menstruation. It has taken my daughter over two years to gain control over her hormones. Try your best to be patient and understand she will need more alone time.

Period training programme

I started preparing my daughter who has ASD for her periods when she was 7. I wrote a modified social story and each month she would wear a pad and bra (first for a few minutes-- all the way to overnight). When she started her periods she knew exactly what to do. We now track on the calendar and my daughter is able to request warm compresses, aspirin, and other 'period' remedies with her visual supports and AAC device.

Spare pads

Encourage girls who have hit puberty to keep spare pads and knickers in their bag, and inform all carers that spares are always in the bag. Always useful for emergencies. Accidents can be very demoralising.

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Using these tips

These tips have been contributed by members of our online community. We hope they will give you some ideas to try, but if you need further help why not post a question to the community or talk to one of our community advisors. If you have any concerns about your health or the wellbeing of someone you are caring for, please consult a doctor or qualified professional.