AUTISM AND MENSTRUATION – How to keep a menstrual cycle record
Young girls on the spectrum are just as likely to have menstrual difficulties as any other female, so it is important to begin early and keep a record of the cycle. This can help track and minimize difficulties that may arise as a result of hormonal imbalance
- Put up the poster on a wall either in your room or your daughters room for accessibility.
- Simply record the period days each month on the calendar and after a few months you will notice some common trends which can help prepare the child in advance.
- You can use colorful stickers or simply put a mark on the days.
- Start preparing your daughter early about the ages of 9 or 10.
- Remember to use books or charts or pictures (lots of visual aids) and one on one practice as a teaching aid to explain the changes.
- Explain to her that getting a period is a big deal and also the start of becoming a woman, explain about the bleeding and reassure her that the bleeding is a part of the menstrual cycle and not to be afraid of it. Help her understand it only lasts for a few days and reassure her you would be there to help her along the way.
- Start practicing with a sanitary towel (butterfly grip type) early so she gets use to its feel before her period commences.
- Celebrate the commencement of her period by doing something she likes (a treat) together with her.
- Ensure she has a daily routine during her periods i.e. establish a schedule to change her pads for example in the morning, before lunch at school, when she arrives home from school, before dinner and after she takes her bath before bed. Also emphasize good regular hygiene (practice this with her)
- Make sure to stay in a solid connection with EVERYONE involved in your daughter’s care.( the calendar will help you with the times) whether in school with the teachers(preferably female), at home with nannies, family members and other caregivers
- Remember they are going through a lot emotionally and mentally, be more patient, understanding and loving. Be there for them and be supportive. When all is said and done, it will be our reactions and strengths as parents that will help them to solidify their roles into the adult world.
- Consider natural pain relief alternatives first for painful cramps (you can get them from any integrative pharmacy) and also increase exercise and physical activities during this period.
- We do not advocate using medications to suppress periods.