Puberty is a confusing, chaotic, critical time for adolescents. It happens at a time when an individual is shaping themselves and developing strategies to cope with future challenges. Everyone goes through it, but it’s not the same experience for everyone. For some, it’s harder–especially for teens with ASD.

While teens with ASD may have health class and understand surface level what puberty is all about, they may not know how to apply that knowledge onto themselves. That’s where you–the parent–come in. With your help, you can provide much needed context and guidance that will allow your teen to understand and handle the changes happening in their own bodies.

Explaining puberty in different terms

For teens with ASD, the sudden growth of hair in places they’re not used to can be pretty distressing. This is why there’s a need for some explanation. While they may have heard that during puberty hair growth begins all over the body and certain body parts change, they may not have applied that information to themselves.

Having a sit-down with your teen to discuss what exactly is going to happen is important to help them understand the situation. It’s also important to open up a dialog–make sure they know they can come to you if they’re confused or disturbed by something.

Puberty can be more frustrating for teens with ASD

Imagine this: you already have issues recognizing social norms, expressing emotions, and performing academically when BAM! Suddenly it’s even harder to recognize and express your feelings because you don’t understand what’s happening. That’s what many teens with ASD go through when puberty begins.

For some teens, they unexpectedly get aggressive–which may be due to an inability to understand what’s happening. Frustration can only be held in for so long and when you’re an individual that has issues expressing yourself, it can come out in unprecedented ways.
If your teen is going through a tough time as a result of puberty, it may be time to consider other options–such as residential programs. While it may seem drastic, it can be exactly what your teen needs to develop the right skills to cope and grow into a successful young adult.

Seven Stars is here for your family

Seven Stars is a program that combines residential treatment with adventure therapy to create a multifaceted, effective program for adolescents, ages 13 to 18, struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder.
We embed the objectives we have for each student into daily activities and teach emotional wellness skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving, social skills, academic skills, self-efficacy and prosocial behaviors. At Seven Stars, we strive to help teens with ASD develop the skills necessary to live full, productive lives.
For more information about how we help teens with ASD at Seven Stars, contact us today at 844-601-1167.