Here are some ideas for talking to your child about puberty, sex, sexuality and relationships, as well as links to some useful resources. By working with the school, you will help to ensure consistency between school and home explanations. You might decide that these lessons are paced inappropriately for your child. Children on the autism spectrum often need a longer period of time to adjust to and understand any changes in their lives. Your child may do things that will be considered inappropriate as an adolescent or adult, eg removing their clothes at unexpected moments. Answer honestly any questions your child has about puberty and their body.
When I was in ninth grade, I sat with my peers in a dingy basement classroom in some forgotten corner of the school, trying to hold back giggles as we watched our gym teacher roll a condom onto a banana. Mostly, I learned about sex from the teenagers on TV and in movies — a more explicit, if still incomplete, course of study. From Degrassi , I learned you can get gonorrhea from giving a blow job. From The O. And when I started having sex, I learned that most of the stuff I had been taught was best forgotten in favor of the messiness of experiencing it all for myself.
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Robie H. The first time a parent names parts of the body, including the genitals, to a toddler or preschooler, sex education has begun. The earlier we start talking with children about sexuality, even our very youngest, the better, because that will only increase our chance of continuing the conversation about sexual health with them throughout their growing up years, all the way through puberty and adolescence.