UU Our Whole Lives Lifespan Sexuality Education Curricula -- specific guides can be helpful too, such as The Girls' Guide to Growing Up.
This book takes girls through all the aspects of puberty: changing bodies, privacy, menstruation, masturbation, etc. It is also written with even more frankness than most puberty guides; I've never seen a photographic guide to understanding when it might be time to change a sanitary pad, for instance. And it reassures girls that while some people have crushes, others don't (since many autistic people are asexual, this casual reassurance during such a foundational time is important). It also tends to use "person" instead of "boy" when discussing sexual feelings, which reflects reality. The tone overall is very friendly and comforting.
It is written for a third grade reading level, with plenty of photographs and illustrations. This tone could be helpful for a girl who needs a more direct approach to understanding what the heck is happening to her feelings and her body (as I will admit I could have used), or a girl with developmental or intellectual disability. But I've also been told that the tone feels too young for girls who are used to reading at a teen level, which is something to consider if you are buying the book for someone else.
If you know of other puberty and sexuality resources that are appropriate for our community, or if you have an opinion on The Girls' Guide to Growing Up, please do leave a comment. -SR
Friday, May 17, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Katie providing high direction, high support|
|Meandering with Purpose|
|Can you see him? Yeah, Neither can I.|
So of course the first thing he does is head for the only corner of the top portion of this park where I would not be able to see him. I didn't worry a bit because the chain link fence runs the entire way around the park. But wait, I couldn't actually see that corner post, and what if the fence were made by two brothers who got in a fight half way through the project and so there are really two corner posts, and a gap between them which leads STRAIGHT OUT TO THE STREET. I was only about 40 feet from him, but if that corner was open, which I knew it wasn't, but if it was, he was only 20 feet from cars pretending to drive 30 miles per hour.
|myBoy in urban camo|
|ooooh so close to escape.|
And while we were there, Jack got to work on those motor skills that are so important. He practiced "jumping off", which is different than "walking off" of something. I got to practice letting my son be outside of my grasp, which feels a lot like being "thrown off" of something. I did put my toes in the sand for a moment, and the kids had a great time playing.
There will be a day when my children don't want to go to the park, not like this at least. An afternoon will come that my daughter doesn't ask me, even one time, to play with her. It's possible that Jack will live somewhere without me when he's older. I want my kids to remember playing and running around. I want the smell of sunblock to remind them of all those days of being in the sunshine in our beautiful park-filled city. I'm trying to remember that these are the days when we should paint, or make lemonade.. or do as Katie has asked and have a lemonade stand with a painted sign.
And I am trying to get over my fears that by myself, out there, in a park, or on a walk downtown, that I won't be able to keep both of my children safe. I know I am perfectly capable, but there are so many ways things can go wrong, and I've thought of them all. My brain hurts quite often with all the "choose your own adventure" stories in my head. However, I'm aware that emotion does not make fact, nor does a lively imagination, so the truth of it is, that most of the time, everything goes just fine. Everything will be okay, or it won't, but fear has very rarely led to anything good in this world, and it certainly has kept me from some beautiful days in the park.
A version of this essay was originally posted at jennyalice.com