Puberty can be a tough time for all young people but for kids with intellectual disability it can be even harder, for both them and their parents and care givers. Children with differing abilities may develop earlier or later. Although no two children will develop the same way, they will still progress through the different stages. Each child also has their own learning needs. Learning about the development that happens at different ages will help you to understand where your child is physically in their development.
But while a child’s cognitive understanding of puberty and sexuality may be delayed for his or her age, the process of body maturation, hormonal changes, and sexual feelings usually is not — creating a mismatch that can be dangerous if ignored.
Here’s the good news – you can’t introduce things too early! Discussing topics earlier than you think is often...
Well that depends what it is being used for. Is it effective at making young people hold off on sex? That would be tough to prove, but what I do think it is great teachable moment to talk about delaying parenthood. It is a great way to get kids to critically think about and consider how much time it takes to care for something. A pet can do this much better than an egg of course but it proves a point. There are also some great follow up questions you can ask to get kids thinking. Questions like:
If you are asked to...
Precocious puberty is when a child's body begins changing into that of an adult too soon. Precocious puberty signs and symptoms include development of the following before age 8 in girls and before age 9 in boys,
If you suspect your child is going through puberty early talk with your doctor. It may be caused by tumors or growths on the ovaries, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, or brain. Other causes may include central nervous system problems, family history of the disease, or certain rare genetic syndromes. In many cases, no cause can be found for the disorder. There are two types of precocious puberty:
Starting a conversation with your kids about gender or sexual orientation doesn't have to be one big TALK. In fact, it's better for kids – and parents – to have many brief conversations about gender and orientation throughout childhood, into adolescence and early adulthood.
These conversations will change over time, which is why this talk cannot be done only once. A conversation with a 5-year-old will be very different than that with a 15-year-old. Luckily, there are helpful resources (some listed below) to assist parents in how to navigate developmentally appropriate conversations with your children.
You can begin by talking positively about all the diversity that exists in our world – race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation – and that all these identities make us unique and wonderful people. Look for and point out diversity in nature....
In the beginning of February 2021 one of my mentors Dr. Laura Berman, a renowned television host and relationship expert experienced the unthinkable. She lost her 16 year old son Sammy to an accidental drug overdose and is speaking out in hopes of preventing a similar tragedy from happening to anyone else.
I can't imagine losing a child. This story particularly hit home and interested me because of how he acquired the drug - via social media (Snapchat). Anyone can direct message someone on social media and many individuals solicit for drugs, sex, and other illegal activities using these platforms. He was not an addict. Bored from the shut downs from COVID and wanting to experiment and try something mind altering he had a prescription drug delivered to his home. The drug was laced with fentanyl and his system had a reaction. In his bedroom, with his family in the other room, he died alone.
Dr. Laura's husband Samuel Chapman recalled finding Sammy...
Masturbation doesn’t have to be a difficult topic to talk about with your kids. Small children, especially, may not even understand what masturbation means. They just know that touching themselves feels good. This is often the easiest time to broach the subject if you ask me. The video above provides scripting for this talk with your child. It is just one excerpt from our Talking THE Talk Together e-course designed to guide parents and their 9-12 year olds through the sex talk together.
With younger children, parents can acknowledge that the touching is happening by saying something like, “I totally understand your body feels good.” Then parents can suggest that kind of touching be done in private and, if kids want to do it, they should go to their rooms to be alone.
For a child under age 8, the talk might revolve around self-touching. This is vastly different than masturbating for sexual pleasure (which involves hormones, fantasy, and...
Is puberty the elephant in the room in your house? Don't ignore the signs that your child is developing and in the midst of these physical and emotional changes. Most schools across the nation missed the infamous 5th grade puberty video this past spring. With the challenges teachers and schools are facing right now I wouldn't leave sex ed to schools at this time and other experts agree.
That depends where you live. Here in California the California Healthy Youth Act (implemented January 2016) requires school districts to ensure all students in grades 7–12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education at least once in middle school and once in high school, and mandates curricula be age appropriate, medically accurate, objective, and appropriate for “all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds; pupils with...
Oh boy, oh boy! If you have a boy and puberty is here this blog entry is for YOU! There are many things you'll want to discuss with your son before, during, and after puberty pertaining to sex and growing up.
One of the bigger conversations will need to be around erections and wet dreams. A book can be a great place to start the conversation. There are general body books and more specific books on puberty changes and other important related topics. Be sure to check out our book list for some suggestions to get you started.
I think where parents often get stuck is how to simply explain adult topics like ejaculations, wet dreams, erections, etc. It is helpful to have a bit of scripting around how to explain things. Here are a few scripts I've often used in the years teaching "THE Talk".
Find a game to play together and talk while you are playing. Begin with small talk and then mention to your...
I've been wondering? Many of you have been too as I've heard your questions and skepticism when learning about this newer menstrual product. I decided to get myself a good quality pair and put them to the test. These are my thoughts and observations.
Women today have more options to use for feminine hygiene protection than ever before. Gone are the days of pads or tampons only and now there are more environmentally friendly options such as menstrual cups and period underwear. A teen new to their period may not be ready to try a menstrual cup, but period underwear…now we are on to something! Here are a few questions I had.
The underwear itself feels very high quality, kinda like swimsuit material, and are very comfortable. Having used tampons most of my life trying something different felt - well, different.
I have a couple of secrets to share with you about how to get your kids to talk to you about "IT"! I'm Jen Elledge and I'm known for helping thousands of parents and their kids learn to talk about sex together through both live and online courses.
Everyday, children are getting a sex education from the media, from the Internet, the playground and friends. And you want to make sure that you're also talking to your kids and combating some of the mixed messages they will receive. If there's one thing that I know for sure is you do not want to be the only one that's not talking to your kids about sex!
In all of the years that I've been a sex educator, I've learned a few secrets of how to get your kids to talk to you more about difficult subjects like sexuality. And I'd like to share them with you.
The first secret that I wish every parent knew about how to get their kids to talk to them about sex is to be approachable. Be an askable parent. When you think about what it...
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