Identifying feelings with Planet Puberty
We catch up with Health Promotion Manager Ee-Lin Chang from Planet Puberty and Family Planning NSW to tell us about their newly launched interactive games to help practice identifying feelings.
We hear from families a lot about the challenges of puberty with children with autism. Is this why Planet Puberty was created?
Yes, that is absolutely why we created Planet Puberty! We realised many parents and carers of children with autism and intellectual disabilities were feeling unsure about when they should teach their child about puberty. Many also had concerns that information about puberty would be too complex for their child to understand.
We created Planet Puberty with these concerns in mind. Planet Puberty has lots of information, worksheets, videos and strategies to help parents and carers navigate their child’s puberty journey. We couldn’t have done it without gaining input from people with disability and funding from the Department of Social Services.
What type of information and topics are covered by Planet Puberty? A year on what are the most popular resources parents and carers are accessing?
On Planet Puberty, we think it’s important to take a holistic approach to puberty. We know that supporting a child through puberty isn’t just about supporting them to understand the physical changes that will happen, but also the social and emotional challenges they might face. So, Planet Puberty covers five key topic areas: The Body, Relationships, Identity, Feeling Good and Keeping Safe.
Since Planet Puberty launched, we’ve had a great response from parents, teachers and allied health workers about how useful they have found the Planet Puberty resources. The most popular section on our website is The Body, the most popular video is one I’m in about teaching about private body parts, and the Masturbation episode on the Planet Puberty podcast was really popular as well.
You recently launched interactive gaming on Planet Puberty. Tell us what does that involve?
We always listen to feedback and suggestions from the people who use our website. We have heard parents telling us that it would be helpful if Planet Puberty had some interactive tools that they could use directly with their child to help them learn some key Planet Puberty concepts!
So, we worked our developers to create three new games:
- Public vs. Private: a game to practice identifying public and private places and where it is okay to do private things
- Identifying feelings: a game to practice identifying feelings through facial expressions
- Who is in my orbit: a game to practice identifying different relationships and different types of touch
The games are quick and easy to play. Make sure you give them a go!
What's next for PlanetPuberty?
We’ve had lots of parents tell us that it would be great if teachers had more support to use Planet Puberty resources as part of their child’s schooling, and teachers have agreed. So, we’re working on a series of plans to help teachers incorporate Planet Puberty into their lessons.
After that, we’ve got a couple of ideas we’re working on…but I can’t confirm them yet!
Where can our readers find out more?
Head to our website: www.planetpuberty.org.au to access everything Planet Puberty has to offer!
With thanks to FamilyPlanning NSW Health Promotion Manager, Ee-Lin Chang.