Puberty - Forest Hills,NY

Updated on June 09, 2013
J.S. asks from Forest Hills, NY
9 answers

My 8 year old special needs daughter is starting to go through puberty. I am beside myself. Besides the fact that she is so young, she is also immature. My pediatrician who is a female, says this is normal. I did not go through puberty until I was 12 or 13. Is there anyone out there that has experienced this with their daughter. Any advice would help!!! Thanks., J.

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answers from St. Louis on

Define puberty. Sorry but it is kind thrown around to mean anything from boobs to period. Some girls start developing young but don't actually get their period till they are 12 or 13.

Nothing unusual about that.

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answers from Chicago on

What are you defining as "starting puberty"? That makes a difference.

8 is NOT "REALLY EARLY", but it is on the young side of normal to be developing breasts and getting pubic hair and beginning to sweat *real* sweat. These are the first stages if puberty.

A girl will start her period 12-18 months after these signs, which can happen as early as 7 without being defined as *precocious* puberty, which is abnormally early.

Now, when you say "special needs" what does that mean? Can she go to the bathroom by herself? There are ways to limit a period for a girl if mom is going to be the one changing pads, so talk to your daughter's pediatrician or your Ob/gyn.

If she's not that disabled, then I suggest you buy the book "taking care of you" which is one of the American Girl series. You can give it to her, if she can read (it's written for 7-10 year olds) or you can read it together.

And yes, there are some studies that indicate (but not prove) that the hormones in milk and meat are causing puberty to start earlier. Right now that's a theory. However, we, as a nation, are heavier than ever, and weight WILL trigger a girls pituitary gland to start doing its stuff.

ETA when I finished my post I did a quick search. I like this NYTimes article
Although it basically says they dont know why and provides many theories.

I can tell you that changing to hormone free dairy and meat won't STOP the process, nor will reducing stress or losing weight... But reducing stress and losing weight CAN help to provide a smoother adolescence in other ways.... Not sure if either of those is at play with your daughter.

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answers from Honolulu on

The Tween or Pre-teen stage, is from 9-12 years old.
The TEEN stage, is from 13 years old.

Your daughter is 8.
You say she is starting to go through puberty. So do you mean she has her period, already? If so, this is really early. Earlier than normal.

Puberty and "maturity" does NOT go hand in hand.
Immaturity is something that even teens and college kids, can be.
Even adults.
What do you mean, she is "immature?"

Get the "American Girl" book series. It is for girls, Tweens. It is age appropriate. It talks about a girl's changing body and about choosing friends etc. All kinds of topics for girls this age. Read it WITH, her. Since she is special needs.
That is one tip.

PLUS, you say your daughter is "special needs."
So, if so, does she then, have a school based Aide, with her in school? Is she in SPED, at school? At my kids' school, the SPED kids, still have their Aide work with them throughout summer, too. It is year, round and all the SPED kids, are worked with.
Does your daughter not have any sort of Therapist or something?
Ask, that professional. What to do. Per developmental changes in your daughter.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

My daughter was 9. Kids are hitting puberty at much younger ages than we did,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My daughter is 9 years old and developing quickly. The pediatrician says she is normal, I developed early as a young girl as well. Below is a link to a book that my daughter and I have been reading together. It has been very helpful in explaining things at a very comfortable level for both my child and myself.
I hope this will help you in talking with your daughter and please know that "little girls" are developing much sooner these days.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Eight years old is REALLY early. This may be rude -but does your family eat a lot of processed foods? If so - you might be able to stave off puberty if you cut back on the things with artificial hormones in it.

As to helping your daughter through it? Be patient. Be supportive. talk simply to her to let her know about the changes that are happening in her body.

What did your pediatrician, who deals with your daughter regularly, say you could do to help her through this transition? It was different for me and my daughter, she wasn't special needs. So I don't know what to do to help you other than say patience and support.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Have you considered organic milk and protein that doesn't come from meat? It could be that she is getting hormones from milk and meat.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This is normal. Puberty is beginning early with each decade. Around 9 years is the average now. It doesn't necessarily mean getting a period, but hormones begin to cause emotional swings and some development will occur if not now soon. Crummy..... huh?



answers from Richmond on

unfortunately, puberty and maturity dont arrive at the same time, and because of this, there are many potential pitfalls along the way, and the vast majority of these pitfalls involve wolves in sheeps clothing, also known as teen age boys and young men, who think nothing of taking advantage of the young and immature girls who cross their path. my best advice is to escort your daughter everywhere she goes, to the movies, out with her friends etc, and then watch the boys and young men around her and her friends, they are suddenly VERY friendly, arent they? dress your daughter in loose fitting clothing, appropriate for her age, dont bother with the trends, give it a few years, until "age" and"maturity" come together
more later, K. h.

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