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How Do I Talk to My Soon-to-be Teen About Puberty?

7 blog avatar 1 How Do I Talk to My Soon-to-be Teen About Puberty?
Expert Name:  Cindy Ring, MSW, LSW
Expert Title: MSW, LSW
Company Name:  Step By Step Inc.
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Cindy is a clinical administrative associate with Step By Step Inc.

Her responsibilities include designing research studies, protocols and evaluation tools, data collection and analysis and writing and editing grants and reports. Cindy is a member of the National Psychology Honor Society and a licensed social worker. She holds an MSW in Social Work Administration from Ohio State University, a BS in Psychology from Wright State University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology from Walden University.

How Do I Talk to My Soon-to-be Teen About Puberty?

So, you have been going along with life and you just realized: Woah! My child is almost a teen and he or she needs to know some stuff that I haven’t even thought about discussing! So, here are some ways to explain and discuss the changes of puberty with your almost adolescent with autism:

  • Find a format that he or she understands best- this can be pictures, movies, drawings, written words, or just plain conversation. If your child doesn’t understand what you are telling him or her or if it just seems like more boring mom or dad talk, he or she will not get this crucial information. Observe your child to see how he or she learns best.
  • Social stories are awesome! Create or find some social stories about the tough things like sexual feelings, masturbation, menstruation, etc. Your child has every right to this information and social stories are often a great way to discuss these things in an easy to understand (and less embarrassing) format!
  • Let your child know that he or she can always ask questions and if you don’t know the answer, you will find out for him or her. Children often don’t know who to ask these tough questions and it’s great if mom, dad, or both can be the source of that information rather than the internet or peers.
  • Let your providers help if you feel comfortable with this- sometimes paraprofessionals or professionals are really good at explaining these kinds of things to the people they work with and, if you feel comfortable, this may be a great way to get this information to your child in a way he or she can understand.
  • Find a good social skills/independent living skills group that teaches about puberty and beyond. Sometimes these groups address this topic and some children find it easier to talk about this in a group format.
  • Look for helpful books- Look for books about puberty that are close to your child’s reading level or that you can read to him or her. Make sure they are written in a way that your child can easily understand.

Good Luck! This topic is tough for many parents, but it is information your child needs to know so that he or she is prepared for adolescence and then adult living. Make sure you are a part of how that information gets distributed to him or her!


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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
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