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Autism and early menstruation - wow

Posted by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM
  • 24 Replies

I have just joined the group and as a grandmother, I will need advice on occasion.  I have 3 beautiful granddaughters, ages 12, 10 and 3.  My 10 yr old granddaughter was diagnosed with Autism at 2 years old.  Last summer, she started menstruating.  She does not understand what has happened and it is not easy for her to communicate.  She has done very well at trying to learn, speaking clearer and not shying away from others but this was a hard pill to swallow. We were hoping she would be a late bloomer, perhaps 16, but 10 - wow!  Has anyone in this community had experiences of this nature coupled with positive feedback?

by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:42 PM
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by Emma on Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM

I don't know, I'm an autistic adult and started my period at 11. It was not a fun experience - I was teased pretty badly by people for asking questions about what was going on and what I was supposed to do about it from family and dcotors, so my experiences with it weren't quite what your granddaughter is going through.

All I can say is try to make it as normal for a "girl" as a you can, that it means she's growing up and getting older.... I don't know how she is developmentally/emotionally, if she can understand what's going on or not, or if she's just scared she's dying or something, if she can understand what it means, I might do a celebration of some sort to help make it seem less scary and bad to her - that she's growing into a woman, but if she's mentally behind in a way that she can't do that... I think you just do the best you can to help her learn to take care of it like any other bodily function and try not to make a big deal about it.... 

I guess my thoughts depend on her development, because I don't like to be touched and have trouble verbally speaking/communicating and i'm hard for people to understand often times in real life, but I had questions when I started mine.... 

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:09 AM

Thank you so much for your response as it related to you.  A small celebration is a good idea that I will try next time.  I am sorry you were teased and I wish you well as you continue to develop as an adult.  Know that we are all striving to develop positively in one way or another.

by Emma on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:51 AM

hehe, I'm a mom of 2, and my son is special needs... and my daughter is NT.

I don't mind talking about what my childhood was like, I wasn't diagnosed with autism until I was an adult, but a lot of the things I went through, were specific due to autistic traits and speech/communication issues that wasn't caught when I was growing up because girls weren't commonly diagnosed with autism unless they were ocmpletely nonverbal.

I'm actually quite grateful that understanding autism has come as far as it has. It's given so many more children the ability to grow up with out having to figure it out on their own....

Period's in a girl are such a sensitive subject... I prefer to think of it as a celebration towards woman hood, meaning the next step in life, where you work towards more adult goals and eventually get the freedom that comes with it... If you look through cultures in different areas of the world, womanhood (periods) were something of a celebrative time, it's just in our western society we seem to think it's something ot hide, or be ashamed of or feel dirty about.

Quoting Grammy091957:

Thank you so much for your response as it related to you.  A small celebration is a good idea that I will try next time.  I am sorry you were teased and I wish you well as you continue to develop as an adult.  Know that we are all striving to develop positively in one way or another.

Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

by Gold Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 3:21 AM

I have a boy as most people with autism are male, but I would say talk with her gynecologist and inquire about the pill. The pill can safely take away the periods. I had to do that b/c my menstruation cramps were too severe.

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 7:02 AM

 OH gosh...I dont have any experience with that since it's my son who's autistic. My daughter also started menstruating early and she cried and cried. She just wanted to be a little girl.   =(

I hope you get the advice you need from someone here. It seems like all the moms here have experienced it all!

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 7:10 AM

I was that old when I started and I was dx autistic at 39. I think it isn't unusual for the intellectually challenged to develop earlier than the NON challegned. Also it has to do with all the hormones in the food as well.

by Member on Feb. 17, 2013 at 7:20 AM

 Has she been taking melatonin? Our Dr. told us long term use of it can cause early puberty.

by Carol on Feb. 17, 2013 at 12:34 PM
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My 11 yr daughter with aspergers and generalized anxiety disorder started her period shortly after her 11th birthday.  I made certain she knew what to expect but it is difficult.   We used the American Girl body book for information.  She is aware that the other girls haven't developed yet - it is just another way that she is different.  She hates having boobs and being hairy.  She is very self-consious.  She is very bright but emotionally she is behind.  She looks like she is 16 not 11.  And then there is the premenstral hormones that just make the meltdowns worse.  It is hard to know when it is hormones or not because she is not regular yet.  My daughter is still a little girl emotionally and doesn't want to grow up.  I try to be posive about it and I keep telling her how beautiful she is.  She doesn't appreciate that she is stunning - she wants to be flat like the other girls.

by Emma on Feb. 17, 2013 at 1:23 PM

I would be cautious messing with birth control pills.... I have severe hormone reactions to them and they make me aggressive and violent when I'm not normally inclined to be that way... I actually can't take hormone birth control because of it.

Be very careful messing with any hormones during this delicate stage, if she IS semi higher functioning and may want kids some day and what not - I wouldn't mess with pills and hormones until her body is fully developed, it can cause fertility issues using it in girls too young.

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 2:02 PM

My daughter is 8 but just barely 8. I've noticed the last few months that she's stinkier, her hair gets greasier faster, she's starting to develope breasts, and about 4 months ago she was having some pain in her girly parts. So to check for a yeast infection, I had her let me look, cause there wasn't a way to explain it so she would understand. She did have one. But what I really noticed was that she had a lot of pubic hair. I panicked. She's 8 but emotionally only about 5. How long did I have to menstrating started? How was I going to explain this to her? How could I teach her to handle this part of growing up when there was so much else she doesn't understand about growing up?

i called her pediatrician, and we talked about the basics. Hormones, what signs to watch for that will come before her first period, what we could do once it started as well.

then came the talks with daughter. I took her to a special dinner and a special date. We talked about how she used to be a baby, then a little girl, then she becomes a young lady, then a young woman, and then an big woman. How with each one of these stages there were special things that came. Baby, she had nothing to worry about. She was taken care of and didnt get to make any choices. As a little girl, she got topick some clothes, and some things, but mommy mostly still took care of her. Her body as a little girl was growing fast which was why she got a big girl bed, and more clothes. As an older little girl she started school and got to spend time away from mom. Now she's starting into the young lady part of life, I explained how that means her body needs more showers, how her body is changing and why she is growing hair in her armpits, and down by her girl parts. How when you are a young lady there is also something kinda scary but very special that happens. Her and I talked in simple terms of what a period is. And that when that happened it was normal. We went on to talk about what other fun things happen as she gets older, driving, dating, picking out her own clothes at the stores, silly things really but she kept asking questions.

when it actually happens, I hope she's more prepared, I'm not sure how the actual taking care of it will go for the first while. She did seem to take the talk and info very well. I think it's because I gave her facts. She can understand facts even if she doesn't like them. 

I would talk with your granddaughter, make it a special thing. Give her the info she is going to need in a way she will understand.

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