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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Menstrual Cycles and Autism

When I first found out about Savannah's Autism, along with all the other questions and fears was the one about PMS. How to explain this to a child that barely understands why the sun is not always there. LOL I was so worried about her understanding this. About her being afraid, crying or just over reacting as many girls do, only worse.

Well, I looked everywhere, asked everyone, Professionals, teachers, mothers, internet, no one had any answers. It was as though I was the first mother with a female who had Autism. I was one step away from trying to contact Temple Grandin and seek her advice as a woman with Autism. Then a friend of mine, who surprisingly doesn't have a child with Autism, gave me the answer and it worked beautifully.

You see when I told Savannah that babies come from mommies tummy's she spent months thinking she was pregnant. I was so afraid that when I told her why women have menstrual cycles, that this would re-occur only worse. Not what I wanted. So how to explain this to her clearly?

My friends idea was brilliant. Simply tell her that it's her body becoming a woman and cleaning itself out each month. Which when you break it down to it's basics is exactly what is happening. The body is cleaning all the old blood out. It worked great. I realized after telling her that her body needed to wash out the gross stuff inside her once a month, I realized that she handled the news rather well. I also told her that it was sign she was becoming a woman and not a child anymore. This made her happy.

So to all the mothers out there worried about how to explain Menstrual cycles and Periods to their daughters with Autism, simply break it down to it's basics. The details of babies and pregnancy can be handled at a time when your child is old enough to understand sex and the consequences that go with it.