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Special Needs Awareness

Puberty Workshop for Girls and their Parents

Helping Girls with Special Needs Understand Puberty

March 01, 2011
Ready to talk to your daughter with Special Needs about her period? Maybe. Maybe not. Since puberty won't wait on parents' preparedness for "the talk," it may be wise for families to attend the upcoming puberty workshop for girls with special needs.

The event costs $25 and will be held Sat., March 19, 9:30 a.m. to noon at White River Christian Church in Noblesville. Girls ages 9 and up who have autism, ADHD, Down syndrome and other special needs are invited to attend along with their mom or dad.

Presented by Jane Grimes, special needs coach, president and founder of Hamilton County Autism Support Group, and trained parent advocate for kids with special needs, the workshop is a hands-on, visual experience that aims to help girls and their parents discuss puberty.

The workshop will touch on topics such as starting your period, having your period when you are not at home, body safety, personal space and more. To aid presentations, visuals of the female body as well as female hygiene products will be part of the workshop. The morning will not, however, include discussions on sex.

This type of presentation can be meaningful to this population of girls. While their physical bodies are growing and changing every bit as much as girls without developmental disabilities, Grimes says the challenge is these girls - boys too - don't understand why or what to do with the changes. Also, some parents don't know how to teach their child with special needs, talk openly with her about puberty, or are uncomfortable showing pictures about the changes. This workshop provides both daughter and parents the support needed to move forward in this sometimes uncomfortable discussion.

Presentations will be given at a slow speaking pace to help the participants who process information at a slow rate or who are visual learners. In addition, the morning will include social activities for the girls to help with their developing social skills.

This will be the second time Grimes has held such a workshop and reservations are required. Please email Grimes at grimesje@sbcglobal.net to secure a spot. Participants are also asked to bring a side dish to share for lunch.

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Carrie Bishop is a freelance writer and mother of two young sons whose daily antics inspire her work and her life. Contact her at freelancewritercarrie@gmail.com.

Tags: Special Needs

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