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Supporting Minimally Verbal Autistic Girls with Intellectual Disabilities Through Puberty: Perspectives of Parents and Educators.

Authors
  • Cummins, Clare1, 2
  • Pellicano, Elizabeth3
  • Crane, Laura4
  • 1 Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), UCL Institute of Education, University College London, London, WC1H 0NU, UK.
  • 2 Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, London, UK.
  • 3 Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), UCL Institute of Education, University College London, London, WC1H 0NU, UK. [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2020
Volume
50
Issue
7
Pages
2439–2448
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-018-3782-8
PMID: 30357644
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Limited research has examined puberty in autistic girls, yet alone those who are minimally verbal and with additional intellectual disabilities. In this study, ten parents and ten educators were interviewed about their views and experiences of supporting these girls through puberty. Results demonstrated that many parents had concerns prior to the onset of puberty in these girls. Yet, for most girls, experiences of puberty were felt to be positive, with the girls coping well with changes that they were experiencing (e.g. menstruation, breast development and developing body hair). Thematic analysis of interview data highlighted three main themes: a range of individual experiences and needs; the importance of promoting dignity and respect; and identifying ways to support these girls through puberty.

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