Skip navigation

Calls to Action

ATN/AIR-P Puberty and Adolescence Resource: A Guide for Parents

Puberty can be a time of mixed feelings for parents and pre-teens. It may be a time of pride and celebration, as well as a time of worry and confusion. It is hard for pre-teens to understand the many changes that come along with puberty. Also, parents may feel unsure of how to explain these changes to their child.

All parents eventually face the challenge of teaching their children about the natural changes of puberty. However, parents of pre-teens with ASD may need the help of additional strategies to ease the transition. Our aim in developing this tool is to provide guidance on the subject of puberty that can be directly applied to pre-teens with ASD. In doing so, we hope to increase families' understanding of puberty and their ability to adapt to these changes with confidence.

Topics include:

  • Body changes
  • Self-care and hygiene
  • Public vs. private rules
  • Staying safe: Strangers, secrets and touch
  • Elopement
  • Safety planning for increased aggression
  • Internet safety

Download ATN/AIR-P Puberty and Adolescence Resource: A Guide for Parents of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder here.

To learn more about this tool kit, see a blog post by co-author Kameena Ballard-Dawkins, an Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) family representative at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, here. You can also download other Autism Speaks and AS-ATN/AIR-P tool kits on the Tool Kits page. 

"These materials are the product of on-going activities of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, a funded program of Autism Speaks. It is supported by cooperative agreement UA3 MC 11054 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Research Program to the Massachusetts General Hospital. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the MCHB, HRSA, HHS, or Autism Speaks."