Autism: Helping Young Adults with Puberty

The program schedule

The program schedule

The program was carefully designed so that each class prepared students well for the next. In week 1, they started by teaching about the changes happening in the body it goes through puberty. This was important so that they could explain the physical aspects that make boys and girls different. This way, they set the stage to explain how to manage these changes in week 2. In week 2, kids were taught what they should do about the puberty changes that they learned in week 1.

In week 3, they started to put it all together and learn how to be more independent. This included learning hygiene schedules and routines that are important to stay clean and healthy. Things like putting on deodorant, shaving, showering, and brushing your teeth were taught in clearly depicted schedules with pictures to follow along. After learning each skill, the kids were also encouraged to actually practice how they would perform each skill. This really helped kids understand the things they have to do to stay clean and healthy.

For the last week, they wrapped up everything they learned and taught gender-specific skills. For the boys, this included how to shave and groom properly. Girls were taught how to manage their periods and use a maxi-pad.