Teenagers with Down syndrome experience the same physical and emotional changes during adolescence as other teenagers.  Just like their peers, they need to be prepared for the changes that will be happening to their bodies, and the feelings they may experience.  Your young person with Down syndrome may need to be reminded that what is happening to them is private, and they may discuss it with their family, but do not need to give a class talk about it!

Most girls manage the associated body changes well.  Your GP should be able to help with any medical issues or concerns.

Links

SECCA (Sexuality Education Counselling and Consultancy Agency) is a non-profit community agency that assists people with disabilities and their families to make informed choices about sexuality and sexual expression.  www.secca.org.au

Resources

Angelo, Fay, Heather Pritchard and Rose Stewart  Secret Boy’s Business
Secret Girl’s Business
Special Boy’s Business
Special Girl’s Business

Beal, David  From Girl to Woman – ideas and choices [kit]

Couwenhaven, Terri  Teaching Children with Down Syndrome About their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality

Down Syndrome Society of South Australia Right to Know series Module Two – Sexuality – Puberty for Girls

Changes In Your Body for Boys

Girl’s Talk : menstrual self-care for young women with learning disabilities

Gray, Judi and Jitka Jilich  Janet’s Got Her Period : planning for self-care in menstruation for girls and young women with special learning needs

Taylor, Miriam et al  Managing Menstruation