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Written at a third-grade reading level for boys aged 9-16 with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, fragile X, or other special needs, this book is the companion to THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO GROWING UP (2011), also by Terri Cowenhoven. The author, a certified sexuality educator, draws on more than 20 years experience conducting workshops on puberty and sexuality issues with boys, girls, families, and professionals.
The book's succint text, realistic illustrations, and learning activities enable boys to read the book themselves or follow along with the aid of an adult. Its reassuring, matter-of-fact tone shows boys what changes—inside and out—to expect during puberty, and how to manage them:
-Growth spurts and bigger muscles
-Voice cracking and deepening
-Blemishes and oily skin
-Body and facial hair
-Crushes, flirting, and sexual feelings
-Erections, wet dreams, and masturbation
THE BOYS’ GUIDE TO GROWING UP gives practical advice on commonplace concerns such as shaving, what to do about zits, and how to smell nice. More complex and essential topics are covered too, such as how to know when flirting is reciprocated (or not!), how to hide or discourage an erection in public, what information is okay to share with others versus what should remain private, and how to stay safe. It’s a must-have book for boys on the brink of puberty, teens who are in the midst of it, and the adults who care for them.
Also check out Terri Couwenhoven's book for teaching children with Down syndrome about puberty and sexuality, TEACHING CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME ABOUT THEIR BODIES, BOUNDARIES, AND SEXUALITY.
THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO GROWING UP advises girls about their changing bodies, privacy issues, and how to feel their best, including:
-What is puberty?
-Body changes (height & shape, breasts & bras, body hair, skin & blemishes, body odor)
-Emotional changes (moodiness & handling your feelings, sexual feelings & what to do about them, flirting do’s & don’t’s)
-Periods (what to expect, using a pad)
-Hygiene (keeping face & body clean, showering, using deodorant)
-Privacy, safety & social appropriateness (private parts, rules for who can touch you & when, rules for touching others, what to do if you feel unsafe)
THE GIRLS’ GUIDE TO GROWING UP is written by an experienced sex educator who specializes in working with people with intellectual disabilities and who is also the author of the companion book, THE BOYS’ GUIDE TO GROWING UP, and the popular TEACHING CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME ABOUT THEIR BODIES, BOUNDARIES, AND SEXUALITY.
Parents, physicians, schools, and support groups will want to share this encouraging book with girls to help answer their questions about puberty and reassure them it’s all part of growing up.
The book covers the biggest questions and smallest concerns of every would-be dater, including:
-Who is an appropriate dating partner & who is not
-How to read signals & judge whether the interest is mutual
-How to ask someone out on a date
-How to turn down a date
-How to handle rejection
-What sexual feelings are
-How to work through problems in a relationship
-What to do when a relationship is not working
Written and illustrated for a hi/lo reader, BOYFRIENDS & GIRLFRIENDS is perfect for anyone who is already in a relationship, ready to start one, or still only dreaming about it. The guide is also an informative read for parents, counselors, and other support providers.