Ages 8 to 14 years. Here is a book just for girls beginning a new phase of their lives! This appealing and easy-to-follow guide for girls with intellectual disabilities is an introduction to the physical and emotional changes they'll encounter during puberty. Written on a third-grade reading level for preteens or young teenaged girls to read by themselves or with a parent, it's filled with age-appropriate facts, realistic illustrations and photos, icons, and a Q&A. The Girls' Guide to Growing Up advises girls about their changing bodies, privacy issues, and how to feel their best, including: What is puberty?; Body changes (height & shape, breasts & bras, body hair, skin & blemishes, body odour); Emotional changes (moodiness & handling your feelings, sexual feelings & what to do about them, flirting do's & don't's); Periods (what to expect, using a pad); Hygiene (keeping face & body clean, showering, using deodorant); Privacy, safety & social appropriateness (private parts, rules for who can touch you & when, rules for touching others, what to do if you feel unsafe). The guide is written by an experienced sex educator who specialises in working with people with intellectual disabilities. Parents, physicians, schools, and support groups will want to share this encouraging book with girls to help answer their questions about puberty and reassure them it is all part of growing up.
Terri Couwenhoven is a sexuality educator who works with people who have intellectual disabilities and Clinic Coordinator for the Down Syndrome Clinic of Wisconsin at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.