Autism and Womanhood

My oldest child is 11 and if you follow this blog you probably well know that she has Autism. Her strongest delays are in her emotional, behavioral and speech development. Basically, she’s like a four-year-old in an 11-year-old body… A developing 11-year-old body.  I’m at such a loss today as I talk to her about what’s going on with her body. I have tried but she doesn’t seem to understand.
She was finally potty trained at 8 or 9 (I can’t immediately recall) her wiping skills are still pretty terrible, despite our discussions with her and my trying to be instructive by telling her she’s a big girl and I want to give her as much privacy as I can. I’m very worried about her hygiene now. She doesn’t have any health issues and isn’t on any medications, when we brought her to the Mayo Clinic last year we discussed possible surgeries with the several doctors that we saw and also talked about other ‘plans’ or ‘options’ to deal with this situation, the doctors told us that we should approach the subject with Alexis (which is what I can’t figure out how to do) and to deal with the hygiene stuff and other options or plans when it gets here. Well…it’s here, so now what?!? It would be nice for me if my daughter didn’t have to ever get her period and I know my husband agrees with me on this but I feel so guilty about it. That doesn’t seem fair to her, especially since she’s only 11 and has a long beautiful life to live with endless possibilities, I hate to do anything permanent or hormonal that could cause more behaviorial issues. My husband and I have only briefly discussed the subject of her having kids someday–we’re just focusing on this for now.  Please tell me someone, ANYONE- if you have had to deal with this or know someone who has.  I feel at a total loss right now, I’m sad because this should be a celebrated transition into adulthood / womanhood yet I feel as if it is like…this dreaded inevitability that has come to reality.  My heart yearns for the some guidance and support.


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