Amaze is proud to produce autism accessible menstruation resources in partnership with Cottons and Family Planning Victoria. The resources were launched at Amaze’s Raising Autistic Teenage Girls Forum, a day of discussion with psychologists Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and Dr Janine Manjiviona, autistic self-advocate Chloe Hayden and Family Planning Victoria’s Vanessa Thomas.
The resources give important information on a topic that can be daunting for many young autistic teens and girls, in a way that is easy to understand and autism-friendly.
The resources include a task analysis (a step-by-step breakdown) for using both pads and tampons, which is small enough to be printed and kept on a key chain in a school bag or purse. This means it can be easily accessed at any time. There is also a social script (an explanation in booklet form, using words and images) for how to use both pads and tampons.
Cottons is an Australian-owned company based in Melbourne which produces 100% natural feminine hygiene products. Cottons had already done great work in creating the ‘This is Cottons’ starter kit for girls new to periods, and Amaze worked with them to expand on this and develop autism accessible information.
Artist and Amaze autism consultant Prue Stevenson contributed illustrations to these resources. She emphasises the importance of authentic, accurate and relatable images when communicating information about menstruation.
Amaze also worked with Vanessa Thomas from Family Planning Victoria who gave guidance on the technical drawings and terminology, and Dr Kim Drever, a paediatrician who advised on medical references and menstruation information.
These resources are editable documents, so parents and guardians can make them suitable for the individual’s needs. For example, you can change words to reflect the language you use at home, or add in images of the individual’s own environment.
If you have questions about raising autistic teenage girls or how to guide them through the topic of menstruation, you can contact the Amaze Autism Advisors on 1300 308 699.