Mission of the Teen Life Committee is to provide various resources and options to prepare and navigate the pre-teen to teen years. Their intention is to identify the aspects that are most critical to navigating life in the teen years.
Volunteers at the Teen Life Committee are striving to support families based on our experience with our own families. Please be clear that these suggestions are not legal or medical advice. Your child’s medical team should be your main point of contact for your child’s specific care.
Children with disability often experience delays in achieving milestones and this makes some people think that puberty may occur later or not at all for their child with a disability. However, for children with a disability puberty usually occurs at the same age and rate as typically developing children.
What is precocious puberty?
Puberty is defined as the presence of secondary sexual characteristics: breast development in girls, pubic hair, and testicular and penile enlargement in boys. Precocious puberty is usually defined as onset of puberty before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys. It has been recognized that, on average, African American and Hispanic girls may start puberty somewhat earlier than white girls, so they may have an increased likelihood to have precocious puberty.
American Academy of Pediatrics: Precocious Puberty – Fact Sheet
Defeating period problems in girls with disabilities with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC)
Young girls usually get their first period between ages 10 and 15. This age range is typically the same for teens and tweens with mental and/or physical disabilities. And while periods are the same, how a child with disabilities might react to a period can be very different.
For kids with special needs, we see a wide range of concerns from families. For some, it’s the amount of blood or how the blood will feel. Others are concerned about hygiene and how easy or difficult it might be to routinely change pads or tampons. Still others wonder how their child will manage possible cramping or other period symptoms. Mensuration Management options.
American Academy of Pediatrics: Menstrual Management For Adolescents With Disabilities
The Teen Life Committee has compiled a list of adaptive items that may support your child in independence or make life easier as your child grows. With insurance coverage Tips from Complexchild.com