A woman’s body is a boiling pot of changes. Right from the day, she blooms like a rose, she steps into womanhood. Her periods signify her maturing as a woman. The thing that usually surprises us is how silent they remain about her bodily changes. The whole taboo around menstruation and menstrual hygiene have been stuck with us for long. But, since it is a natural phenomenon, every woman should embrace it and shouldn’t shy away from talking about it. Going through it secretly keeps the girls, especially the ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are about to hit puberty, away from the insightful information about menstrual hygiene and health. If you are a mother who is reading this, you need to be vocal about menstruation with your daughter. Well, this is the main aim behind writing the book “Happy Periods-Menstrual Hygiene” i.e. providing information that is culturally relevant and to help parents having girls with special needs communicate about menstrual hygiene with their children.
The Caregivers Handbook is developed by Dr. Ritu Juneja, Ex-Head, Research and Innovation, MBCN School and Prof. (Dr.) Jayanti Pujari, Dean, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences & Director, Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences & Director Amity Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences, Amity University Noida. It is carefully curated after having a face to face interactions with parents about the problems faced by them during teaching their special children about menstruation. Parents of pre-teens and teens with intellectual disabilities find it difficult to talk to them about puberty, sexuality, and bodily changes. It requires special skills and confidence to handle the whole scenario. Adolescents with developmental disabilities face greater challenges in accepting these changes, especially girls during their menstruation. That’s when this book comes handy in helping parents tackle the behavioral manifestations such as temper tantrums, crying spells, and self-abusive behaviors, which may get aggravated due to the discomfort brought on by menstruation. The book provides information that could be highly useful to caregivers. Read further to know what awaits you in this book and why it is a must-buy!
How will “Happy Periods-Menstrual Hygiene” be helpful to you and your child with special needs?
It teaches you about the importance of menstrual hygiene management
Why is it important for women to keep themselves clean especially during the days when their periods pay a visit? Why is it important to talk more about menstrual hygiene especially with young girls?
The book gives answers to every possible question related to the significance of practicing menstrual hygiene.
- It lays out strategies for maintaining menstruation
Adolescent girls who experience periods for the first time find it difficult to come in terms with the new process. The whole scenario becomes more troublesome for the girls who have visual, motor, or hearing impairments. It is important to make them understand that these bodily changes, the cramps, the mood swings, etc. are normal else this can lead to triggers. She must know how periods look, who she can talk to, and what she will feel. Hence, the book provides strategies on how you as a parent can make them feel comfortable during their menstrual cycle.
- The preparation before your girl gets her first period
How to make her aware of menstruation before she actually steps into it is one question that parents find difficult to deal with. The approach with girls with intellectual disabilities is the same as with other girls, though it requires a sensitive touch. The book focuses on the use of correct language for every body part and the process of familiarizing your child with them.
- Usage of Sanitary napkins and their disposal
If you use sanitary napkins, it is important to change them after 4-5 hours. Never forget to carry an extra one while you are going to school, college, office, or anywhere outside. Changing the pads ensures that your privacy is area infection-free which is good for your overall health. The book has several methods on how you can teach your daughter to put a sanitary pad. Making a visual step by step guide, making her practice, etc. are a few ways that have been listed in the book.
- Concept of Privacy
Kids with developmental delays may need help learning what behavior is acceptable in public and what should remain private. The book guides parents on how to go about teaching the importance of privacy.
“Happy Periods-Menstrual Hygiene”, therefore, is a great help-book which keeps in consideration the requirements of young girls with developmental and intellectual disabilities while they are on periods. It comes handy for parents and helps them in instilling the right menstrual hygiene habits in their children.