Get a Tip
All tips > Hygiene > puberty & periods
>> Puberty & periods<<
These tips have all been sent in by other parents, carers and professionals in the learning disability community. We hope they will give you plenty of ideas to try, but please remember Netbuddy is not responsible for the information provided or any of the activities suggested.
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.
I change my pad
I change my pad is a great leaflet aimed at girls and young women with learning disabilities from the Sheffield Centre for Sexual Health
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.
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.
Becoming a Woman
Becoming a Woman is an illustrated training pack that helps explain the processes involved in menstruation, as well as giving information about hygiene, pain management and sanitary protection. www.pavpub.com
Preparation for Menstruation
The Down's Syndrome Association has a booked called 'Preparation for Menstruation' which you can order or download for free here.
If you have a daughter with learning disabilities who is due to start her periods soon, there are links to some very good resources on www.me-and-us.co.uk
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.
Talking together about growing up
The FPA has a useful workbook for parents of children with learning disabilities who are approaching puberty, called 'Talking together... about growing up'. Price £12.99 Read more
Growing and Learning
Growing and Learning is a series of books that have been written to support parents & 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 & body changes and personal hygiene, amongst other subjects. www.growingandlearning.co.uk