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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- minimally verbal
- intellectual disability