When children enter puberty, hormone fluctuations and changes in their bodies can become a source of anxiety and frustration. Children with special needs who are becoming teens may have an even more difficult time trying to understand what is happening to them. Being informed about ways to help special needs teens transition socially during this time will make the path a lot smoother. Special needs teens can learn the social skills that will help them find rewarding friendships and meaningful social connections. With the proper support, a special needs teen can get through this time successfully and with ease.
Preparation Is Key
When special needs teens begin to change physically as a result of entering puberty, it is essential that they know what to expect. Encouraging open communication makes the teen feel comfortable asking questions. Talking about sexual issues empowers special needs teens to handle situations in which they feel sexual desire or are not sure about how to conduct themselves. Discussing peer pressure and other related issues ahead of time will help the special needs teen set appropriate boundaries.
Addressing Vulnerability with Open Communication
Special needs teens should be aware of the issue of being vulnerable to sexual abuse. Although it is unfortunate, it is true that special needs teens are about ten times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than “normal” teens. Always be certain that the teen has access to a trusted adult to whom they can go to if someone has approached him or her inappropriately. Special needs teens must be taught about setting boundaries and being able to say “No.”
Call to Learn More About Helping Your Special Needs Teen Today
If you have a teen with special needs, call the Valley Socials Program of Woodland Hills, California to learn more about how to help your teen transition socially. We serve parents with teens with a variety of special needs and are based in Woodland Hills, also serving Encino, Calabasas, Tarzana, and Sherman Oaks. Call us at (818) 650-0889 to learn more about helping your special needs teen today.