Puberty for Boys with Autism: Beyond The Birds and the Bees

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Going through puberty is one of the most challenging times in anyone’s life.  Most people wish to never relive their experiences from that point in their lives.  As mentioned it is a challenging and confusing time for anyone, but having Autism makes everything just much more difficult.

It is a time of information overload consisting of conflicting opinions, having to separate the “bullshit” that often comes from your peers to useful advice.  It is also an awkward time when you don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents about a lot the things being experienced.

I recently read a post entitled BEYOND THE TALK: WHAT ELSE AUTISTIC GIRLS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBERTY.  The topics discussed and the information provided made me think how much I would have appreciated this kind of information that I decided to pay homage to it with this post because I would have appreciated the content of the aforementioned post when I was going through puberty.

Hygiene

Showering and Bathing

As you begin to go through puberty you will begin to sweat more from areas such as you armpits.  As a result of the sweat being broken down by naturally occurring bacteria on your skin, you will start to naturally produce Body Odour (BO).  You may not always be able to detect your own BO but others might.  It is also possible that at some point during puberty you’ll develop dandruff and possibly greasy feeling hair.  This is all down to hormones and  with regular showering, the BO can be sorted quite easily and in the case of dandruff an effective anti-dandruff shampoo.  If however your dandruff doesn’t begin to improve after two weeks then see your doctor.

Shavingshaving

Every boy at some point during puberty will develop facial hair, which initially is quite soft and often described using the term “bumfluff” it is at this point that you need to begin shaving.  Like showering, shaving needs to be done regularly.

I know that when I began growing facial hair, because of the texture of it I was quite self-conscious and decided to go clean shaven.  Not only does having a clean shaven look have benefits on your appearance it also results in the hair regrowing coarser and thicker.  So for those of you who want to grow a beard then shaving regularly is the best thing you can do.

Shaving Tips

To get a really smooth shave I would suggest doing the following:

  1. Go against the grain of the hair (I would recommend do this when the hair is at it’s shortest)
  2. There are many Barbers that now offer wet shaves, which uses a straight razor (also known as a cut throat).

If however you want a good tutorial on how to shave with a safety razor then check out this video.

Social Skills

The social rules that dictate how you act friends will differ to how to act with a boyfriend or girlfriend or somebody you are attracted to.  Like a lot of the social rules that exist they are fluid, complex and confusing.  The best way myself and others who are autistic have learned what is and isn’t appropriate, depending on the social situation is by observing and watching how people interact with one another.

When observing how others socially interact with each other make sure that you observe people who are your own age because the ways adults interact will be different to how you interact with your peers.

Making these observations are important, because you need to see how your peers interact differently depending on whether a person is a platonic friend or is actually a somebody who they are attracted to. This will determine how they behave around that person and also how they touch them.

If you are friends with somebody the kinds of touching and general physical contact that is acceptable is similar to the below image of the two girls.

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The other thing that you might encounter is somebody who is flirting with you because they find you attractive.  This is a bit of minefield regarding acceptable rules.  My best advice would be to tread carefully and take things slowly.  The best way to this is to portray yourself as a nice guy and if you happen to be a little shy to the right person that can be an attractive characteristic.  The other reason why taking because you reduce the risk of doing something inappropriate and inadvertently creating an awkward situation for yourself.  In short be yourself, I know everyone says that but it’s true. Also, remember that when your peers talk about all the things they’ve been up to doesn’t necessarily mean what they are saying is true and in fact a lot of the time what they are saying is made up.

One final word on flirting and attraction is that you may not feel that you are ready for a girlfriend or boyfriend at the same time as everybody else but that when you are the kind physical contact that is acceptable is similar to the below image.

 

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Mood Swings

You may find that your mood and temperament changes drastically and frequently.  Don’t worry about it as what you are experiencing is perfectly normal and is due to fluctuating hormone levels and is made worse by being sexually frustrated or not truely understand what is happening to you.

Growing Pains

One of the first changes of puberty is growing pains.  You may notice that your knees ache where previously they didn’t.   Once again this something, which is perfectly normal.  It may also be that you don’t experience growing pains until your late teens generic for benicar.  This is one of the first changes I remember going through and also had friends who didn’t have any kind of growth spurt until mid-way though or even later on in their teens and in some cases those who grew later have ended up being taller than me.  So even if you experience this later on you may find you end up taller that some of you peers.

So there we have it my post on some of the aspects of puberty nobody tells you.  I can’t think of anything else to discuss, but if any of you would like to see additions made then contact me here.

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