Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
Having a high functioning teen on the autism spectrum who does online schooling means I need to find books that cover other areas that may be taught in the brick and mortar schools. My nonverbal son needs diagrams to help explain daily routine steps. Being visual learners and both boys I bought several years ago My Body, My Self for Boys. This is a workbook with illustrated drawings that has games, quizzes for both preteens and teens.
Some of the content was advanced at the time, so we utilized the chart section on how to determine your adult height based on the height of your Mother and Father. We also perused about body odor, using deodorant and distinguishing the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant.
My oldest son has not experienced a locker room setting and my nonverbal son gets dressed for Physical Education in the classroom as he is the only boy with a male aide while the girls go to the locker room with the female classroom aide. He will be transitioning into high school next year so this routine is bound for change. It has worked well for three years of Middle School.
There is a puberty quiz, a fill in the blank section for sharing what took place on your birthday, another blank area for puberty disasters and a page for jotting down questions relating to masturbation.
The male sex organs - an owner's manual has diagrams of shapes and sizes, covering all angles and two pages of blank records to record your development every three to six months. There is also a drawing showing early, middle and late puberty with stick figures, as well as a space for adding the date you hit this stage.
Stages of Growth & Development covers five stages:
1. Childhood Stage - from birth to puberty.
2. Beginning of Puberty - average is 11-12 years old. Lasts about 13 months.
3. Lengthening Stage - starts from 13-14 years old. Lasts about 10 months.
4. Widening Stage - from 14-15 years old. Lasts 24 months.
5. Adult Stage - Average age is 16 and lasts the rest of your life.
Acne medications, foot odor, special concerns for African-American Men, blade versus electric, growing pains, scoliosis, stretching, bodybuilding, steroids, circumcision, ejaculation, having an erection and a testicular self exam are all covered in detail.
My older son has had an x-ray for scoliosis and prefers using a blade when shaving. This book is perfectly suited for single Mothers such as myself. Although not marketed to the autism community the illustrations, quizzes and step by step directions and guidance in the personal areas for growing boys really suits our needs.
The section on determining your future height has steps for ages 10 and 14 with a breakdown and a ruler on one page to note your parents height. There is a quiz for each section. The following are examples from My Body, My Self For Boys.
1. Pubic hair is always the same color as the hair on your head. False
2. Plucking your pubic hairs will keep them from growing. False
3. Clean skin doesn't break out. False
4. Growth in height is usually fastest in spring and summer. True
The page for Puberty Changes has a stick figure of a male with notations explaining the changes that take place. These include:
Hair is more oily; you may need to wash it more often.
Shoulders are wider and broader.
Hair grows on upper lip and on cheeks.
Feet enlarge and perspire more; foot odor may be a problem.
There is also a weekly daily intake to document for one week whether you eat meats & proteins, fruits & vegetables, breads, etc. and milk & its products.
For body type there are three types with a description along with the illustration. These are Endomorphs (round and stocky), Ectomorphs (thin and angular) and Mesomorphs (strong and broad).
Everything you ever wanted to know about the changes the male body goes through in puberty is addressed. Questions like "can you urinate and ejaculate at the same time?" The inside story on ejaculation with an illustration of the different parts of the internal reproductive system, changes that take place during an orgasm and the proper terms for the male sex organs:
An inquisitive teen on the autism spectrum will have all the specifics on the changes that are taking place in their body. The starting lineup at the beginning of My Body,. My Self, For Boys has a box that lists the typical order of puberty changes. There is a page to list about your life from past, present and future. Here is where you can note how you spend your day, who are your favorite people and fun things to do.
This is a great interactive workbook that can be utilized for several years. It covers any embarrassing question that may come up for teens and their parents. It is very helpful for me as the parent to a teen who turns fifteen in another month and is in the beginning stages of toilet training. This is very useful for me since I never imagined having a teen that relies on me for their personal care and now I can see what stage he is at and what is going to happen in the coming months.
I give the book to my older son for him to look through every few months so he can get his questions answered in private by perusing the pages. They need a book like this for sex.
This is the companion workbook to the What's Happening to My Body?" Book for Boys. We bypassed that book and only bought this one.