How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

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If Your Teenager Has Recently Experienced Vision Loss

Every day of parenting has its highs and lows, and that’s no different when your child has a visual impairment. However, if your child has recently been diagnosed as visually impaired, you, your child, and your other family members may find yourselves struggling with a multitude of new, conflicting feelings—among them anger, sadness, grief, frustration, embarrassment, confusion, and fear.

There are several eye conditions that young people may be diagnosed with during their teenage years. These include retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Stargardt’s, and Best’s disease, to name a few. Or, your child may have been involved in an accident and, as a result, is now visually impaired. Regardless of the cause, in all probability, this has been an emotional time for your child, you, and the rest of your family. The information on this website is intended to try to help you and your family during this transitional time. In addition to the information you’ll find in this section on teenagers, you may also find some of the information on this site for families with younger children helpful as well. Here are just a few things to consider:

Your feelings and concerns about your child’s visual impairment are unique to you, but most parents of children who are visually impaired experience many feelings in common. Your child will wrestle with her own feelings about vision loss and others in your family will be having feelings and concerns as well. Work to keep communicating with each other; you may find some relief and comfort in talking about your child’s visual impairment and the uncertainty you may be feeling about the future.

Recognize that grieving for your child’s lost vision is normal. Feelings of anger, depression, and denial are part of the grieving process. Daily events may sometimes unexpectedly spiral you back into grief. For example, you may grieve on the day your child would have earned her driver’s license or the night of her prom when she can’t see how pretty she looks. Try, if possible, to take an action that counters these negative feelings: Tell your daughter how beautiful you think she looks—be as specific as possible (let her know that the blue of her dress matches her eyes, for instance); give your son an alternative “rite of passage” event to celebrate in lieu of obtaining a driver’s license (something like a bus, train, or plane trip to see a favorite relative or friend from camp).

You may find it helpful to talk to parents of other teenagers who are visually impaired. Consider posting a message on the FamilyConnect message boards. Through the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI) and other parents’ organizations, you can meet other families. Your child’s teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) or orientation and mobility (O&M) instructor can also help you find other families to talk with about your feelings.

If your child’s eye condition is inherited and you have other children, you may be concerned about whether your other children will also develop the condition or may be carrying the relevant gene to pass on to their children. Talk with your child’s eye care specialist about genetic counseling for your family.

If you or your child experience feelings of depression or anger for an extended period, consider consulting a professional counselor. This may enable you to work through your feelings and develop strategies to move toward acceptance of your child’s vision loss.

Encourage your child to begin learning skills that enable her independence. These skills include learning orientation and mobility or travel training as well as instruction in the entire blindness-specific Expanded Core Curriculum, which will enable your child to access the school curriculum and live independently throughout life.

Written by Health Sciences at La Trobe University Victoria, Australia, this resource (pdf) has been developed to provide parents, families, friends and caregivers information to assist teenagers with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to recognize and manage the emotional, physical and social issues that individuals will encounter during puberty. Each section is prefaced for the parent or caregiver with specific details on each area of change during puberty, how to use the resource and adapt it to each teenager’s specific needs and skill level. This is followed by information directed to the teenager including visuals schedules and descriptive stories. Download here.

La Trobe University
Audience: Adolescents/Teens, Parent
Format: PDF

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Puberty is a time of change for children, and often a time of challenge for parents looking for the “right” way to talk about the upcoming changes. It can be even more of a challenge for parents of children with developmental or physical disabilities. The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Disabilities has created this toolkit for girls, that provides factual information about puberty. Topics include encouraging good hygiene, appropriate behavior, and how to deal with the body changes. The toolkits also suggest ways to approach these important conversations, especially with children with disabilities.

You will also find in the Resource an Appendix to the toolkit that has storyboards and visuals to use.

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TEEN COUNSELING

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Teen life, for many teens they express feeling as they though have one foot in the adult world as they start to gain independence and one foot in the child world as they are still developing the skills necessary to be completely independent. Teens are solidifying their identity at this stage. Teens also start to navigate more complex social relationship and many start dating. With younger children, the parent relationship takes center stage and with teens peer relationships take top billing. Teens begin to look to their peers as role models for appropriate behavior, which can be helpful when they are given opportunities to be around prosocial peers. Enjoy this time with your teen, it can be amazing to see the unexpected talents that come out and the increase in insight.

Potential Challenges:

Teenagers face many challenges as they develop into young adults. They face added responsibility and independence. Balancing new expectations can be extremely difficult for some teens. They can easily place more priority on testing the limits of their independence and neglect the responsibilities that come along with this freedom. As their brains are developing, they may exhibit poor judgement and decision making abilities. They have difficulty acknowledging how their behaviors impact themselves and others. Some teens may began to engage in risky behaviors such as substance use, sex, and self-harm. Puberty also affects all of these factors and can increase moodiness in most every teen. The physical changes happening in their bodies may lead to confusion around sexuality and gender identity. They may begin to struggle with confidence and positive self-image. While navigating all of these changes, teens are heavily influenced by their peers. They began to care about impressing others and fitting in.They attempt to find their identity while receiving pressure from social media, judgmental peers, relationships, family, academic expectations, and more. Some teens may drastically change their clothes and appearance, try new music, and trade out friend groups. Distinguishing when these challenges are normal and when they become problematic can be difficult for parents. Below are some signs that these normal challenges may be significant issues for your child.

Signs They May Need Therapy:

While being moody and irritable is typical of teens, when these behaviors become severe it could be indicative of some significant issues.
When your teen begins to show these signs, it may be time to consider therapy:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly everyday,
  • Diminished interest in favorite activities,
  • Significant changes in weight
  • Problems sleeping,
  • Social isolation,
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating,
  • or thoughts of death or suicide, there may be a need for professional help.

While stress can occur with added school pressure, when teens begin to experience excessive worry that is difficult to control, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep disturbance, these are signs that there may be a more serious issue than typical stress. You know your child more than anyone. If you notice a change in behavior that is out of the ordinary, or that raises a red flag for you, seek professional help.

Dealing with the Visually Impaired

In general, guide dogs are working animals, not pets. So don’t pet them. In fact, don’t call their names or distract them in any way. Allow the dogs to accompany their owners into all stores and buildings. These dogs are trained to pay no attention to strangers while working except as objects to be avoided. Attempting to pet them while they are in harness is like urging someone to abandon a good, carefully formed habit. If the dog’s harness is off, it’s okay to ask the owner whether you can pet the animal—but don’t touch it without the owner’s permission.

If you are in an environment familiar to a blind person, don’t move things, or if you do, put them back exactly as you found them. Leave closed doors closed, and open doors open. Never leave doors ajar.

Go ahead and offer assistance if you think it might be helpful, but remember that sometimes a person who is blind prefers to get along unaided. If you see a blind person without a guide dog waiting at an intersection, offer to help him or her across. The fact that the person has stopped at the intersection may signify that he or she is waiting for help.

However, if the person says, “No, thank you,” don’t insist. If the person wants your help, offer your elbow. You will then be walking a step ahead, and the movements of your body will indicate when to change direction, when to stop and start. Hesitate but do not stop before stepping up or down. You can say, “curb,” or “step down.”

Mind Your P’s and Q’s

In aiding someone who is visually impaired at the dinner table, use an imaginary clock to describe the placement of the food on the dish: The mashed potatoes are at four o’clock, the chicken breast is at two o’clock, and so on.

Here are some other tips:

  • Watch out for half-opened doors. They are a hazard to everyone, but especially to a person who is blind.
  • Give directions with the person who is blind as the reference point, not yourself. Say: “You are facing Broad Street, and you will have to cross it and turn to your right to go east on Chestnut Street.”
  • When helping the person into a car or taxi, place her hand on the inside door handle, and let her go in alone.
  • When entering an unfamiliar office or restaurant, offer your elbow, use specifics such as right or left, and then place his hand on the back of the chair so that he can be seated without further assistance.
  • Don’t let self-consciousness or a misplaced sense of protectiveness make you hesitate to tell a blind person that he has egg on his shirt or that his tie is in his soup. Do so in a matter-of-fact tone of voice and let him deal with the problem himself.
  • Some people have a tendency to raise their voices when speaking to a blind person. If you catch yourself doing so, stop. It’s annoying.
  • When accompanying a person who is blind, do your best to describe the surroundings, especially terrain and spatial relationships.

Recently, I witnessed the following encounter in one of those large chain drug stores. A blind man entered and stopped inside the door. Another customer walked over to him.

“May I assist you?”

“I want to have a prescription filled.”

“The pharmacy section is in the rear of the store. I’d be glad to take you there.”

“Take my elbow. We’re going about six feet straight ahead. Now we’re turning right. The floor inclines up, and there are some displays of soda in the middle of the aisle. About four steps more. Okay, shall I get the pharmacist for you?”

“No, thanks. I’m fine now that I’m here.”

“Would you like me to wait and escort you out?”

“No, thanks. I can do it now. Thanks a lot.”

As you can see, the person who helped out in this situation was able to combine common sense with simple courtesy in offering help and in providing just the right amount of assistance.

Meeting a Blind Person for the First Time

If the person is alone when you enter the room, make your presence known right away by speaking. Identify yourself when greeting the person, and if others are with you, be sure to introduce them and to specify where they are: “On my left is Helen Carver, and on my right is Mary Thompson.”

When offering a handshake, say something like “Allow me to shake your hand.” If the other person extends a hand, shake it or explain why you can’t. “I’d like to shake your hand, but I’m afraid I may drop all these files.”

Remember to talk to a person without sight as you would to a person who can see. In a group use the people’s names as a clue to whom you are speaking. Address those who can’t see by name if they are expected to reply, and speak to them directly in a normal tone of voice. Excuse yourself when you are leaving. Doing so is especially important when ending a conversation so the person isn’t left talking to thin air.

When a person with visual impairment has to sign a document, provide a guiding device such as a ruler or a card. When handing money to a person who is blind, separate all the bills into denominations and specify whether they are ones, fives, and so on. The person with the impairment can identify coins by touch.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Briarna Dobson’s Journey with Stargardt’s Disease

Ocutech would like to thank Briarna for sharing her story with Stargardt’s and how she gained her independence back with dedicated parents, doctors and Ocutech bioptics!

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

I always get asked, “What do you mean you’re blind, you look so normal?” Most people find it difficult to comprehend that you can look normal but be partially sighted. We are taught there are three types of vision: perfect vision, vision that requires correction with glasses or completely blind with no vision. So, I do understand the confusion some have when I try to explain my vision.

Losing My Vision

I was born fully sighted and had no issues with my vision. When I was 8 years old, I started struggling to see the board. We went to the Optometrist and I got glasses for reading and seeing the board. I went back yearly for routine check-ups and it wasn’t till I was 13 years old that the optometrist found something at the back of my eye (my retina), we then went to the ophthalmologist in Tauranga, where they referred us for more testing at the Retina Specialist clinic in Auckland. This was when we were told…I had Stargardts.

My parents were devastated. They saw all the obstacles I would be coming up against, would I be able to finish mainstream education? Would I be able to drive? Would I be happy? I, however, didn’t have the foresight to think of any of that. I could see alright for the moment and that was all that mattered. A few months later I understood completely how my parents felt that day.

What is Stargardt’s?

Stargardt’s Disease is a genetic juvenile condition. It affects the macula in the retina. This is responsible for colour and central vision. This results in the whole image not being sent through the optic nerve to the brain. My brain then fills in the missing pieces and compensates with my peripheral vision. The loss of vision starts with puberty and gradually continues to progress through the teens and adult years. As if puberty wasn’t difficult enough.

Losing My Sight and Independence

Growing up I was a very active kid, I got involved in all the sports, netball, volleyball, water polo, hockey, and dance, to name a few. With the loss of my vision that was taken away from me, I no longer was able to play those sports or see the choreographer in dance training. Then it came to the age where I was faced with “you won’t be able to drive.” My friends were getting their driver’s licenses; they were independent and could go off when they pleased. They could get around and did not have to rely on anyone else. These days were dark for me, it just didn’t seem fair as I could not be independent and have the freedom that comes with it.

My parents are continuously working to find the best tools possible for me to live life as a normal teenager. They are always researching Stargardt’s Disease and keeping up to date with everything and anything that could benefit my condition and my life. My Dad came across a video on “stuff.com” of a guy who was visually impaired that was granted his license with a special pair of glasses, he was also from New Zealand and we immediately got in touch with him. He explained how he got the glasses and who to contact.

Finding Hope and Learning I Could Drive!

My Dad got in touch with Peter Neuhauser and Anna Megaffin from the Hamilton Branch Bell Neuhauser & (Matthews) Optometrist. Peter sounded so hopeful and it was really promising. Although I did not want to get my hopes up too high.

We went to Hamilton and they ran a few tests. We were then given the best news of our lives – with these glasses (Ocutech VES-Sport II) I could obtain my driver’s license!

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teenThe Ocutech VES Sport-II

The glasses are ordered from America, so I started to study the road code like crazy and after a few months of waiting, the glasses arrived and the very next day, I took my learner’s license test in 13 minutes and got 35/35 correct. I now have my very own licence.

It really was the best day and feeling ever!

The past 4 years have been the longest and hardest years of my life, but after meeting Peter, Anna, and the team, my life has completely changed in the best way ever and my dreams have come true!

I am so grateful for all they have done and my Ocutech Bioptics!

If you’re short-sighted, distant objects look blurry.

Short-sightedness typically starts during puberty. It tends to get worse as children move into the teenage years and young adulthood.

Short-sightedness can run in families.

Short-sightedness is also called myopia and near-sightedness.

Causes of short-sightedness or myopia

Short-sightedness happens because light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of on the retina. This is usually because the eyeball is longer than usual.

Symptoms of short-sightedness or myopia

If your child is short-sighted, they might say that far-away objects seem blurry, whereas close-up objects are clearer. They might need to squint or partially close their eyes to see distant objects clearly.

You might notice that your child always sits very close to the television, or holds books or devices very close to their eyes while reading. If your child sits at the back of the classroom, they might say it’s hard to read things at the front of the room.

Regular eye examinations: why they’re important

Regular eye examinations are the best way to detect conditions like short-sightedness and other vision problems.

It’s recommended that all children have eye tests:

  • before they start preschool, when they’re 3-3½ years old
  • in their first year of school.

Some states and territories run free vision screening programs through preschools, schools or child and family health services. Check with your child and family health nurse, preschool or school to see what’s offered in your state or territory.

If a screening test picks up a problem with your child’s vision, the people running the screening program will let you know what to do next.

Does your child need to see a health professional about short-sightedness?

Yes. If you think your child is short-sighted, take your child to see an eye specialist like an optometrist or ophthalmologist. You’ll need to get a referral from your GP or optometrist to see an ophthalmologist.

If your child is having learning difficulties, it’s also a good idea to have their vision checked by your GP or optometrist.

Treatment for short-sightedness and other vision problems

Children with short-sightedness might need to wear glasses. Teenagers might prefer to wear contact lenses for some activities. An optometrist can prescribe glasses or contact lenses after giving your child a thorough eye test.

Your child will need to have their eyes and glasses checked every year. This is because vision tends to change, and short-sightedness can get worse as your child gets older.

Spending time outdoors each day can reduce the chance of your child’s short-sightedness getting worse.

If your child’s short-sightedness gets worse rapidly, it’s worth asking your eye specialist about interventions that might slow down the process.

Laser therapy isn’t used on young people because their eyes haven’t yet fully developed.

Prevention of short-sightedness or myopia

Spending time outdoors can lower children’s chances of being short-sighted.

Useful Articles

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Parent’s Guide to Girls and Puberty

Let’s face it: navigating girls, puberty, and your daughter’s first period can be one of the more intimidating challenges faced by parents. Every parent feels some degree of uneasiness in discussing puberty and menstruation (having menstrual periods) with his or her daughter. Your little girl is growing up and becoming a woman – you can see the signs and want to prepare her for that day when she gets her first period. So how do you start the discussion? And more importantly, how do you become more comfortable with it?

Step 1 – Study Up!

Having the right information and knowing what really happens during menstruation is a helpful way to get over the taboo and confidently start talking about that first period. The better you know your “material,” the more comfortable you’ll be discussing it. There are many resources available, both in print and on the web, to help coach you through this teaching moment.

You’ll want to be prepared to discuss the following topics:

What is a period for, anyway? During puberty, a girl’s body undergoes changes due to the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Every month, the body goes through a cycle where it prepares the uterus, or womb, for pregnancy. The monthly cycles of these hormones cause the lining of the uterus to shed when a girl does not become pregnant – then the cycle starts over! The shedding of that lining is what causes bleeding that usually lasts for 3-7 days.

What supplies should you have in the house, and how do you use them? The most common supplies are sanitary pads and tampons. Younger girls will most often use pads, which stick on the inside of her underwear. Pads should be changed every 3-4 hours to maintain clean hygiene. These pads come in different thicknesses – a medium absorbency pad is a good place to start.

Tampons are another option, although your daughter may not want to try tampons until she is comfortable with her cycles. A good age to start using tampons is around 13-14 years, but every girl will be different.

Start with the light absorbency tampons. Read the instructions – they can be very helpful and have useful pictures. The tampon is inserted with an applicator into the vagina (some brands come without an applicator – but try it with the applicator first).

The picture guides will be helpful for your daughter if she doesn’t know where her vagina is – but you can explain that the vagina is between her urethra (where she pees from) and her anus (where she poops from)! Correctly inserting a tampon may take practice. It should not be uncomfortable. The correct angle to insert the tampon is to point it back toward the tailbone. Tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours to prevent an illness called Toxic Shock Syndrome in which bacteria builds up and can make girls very sick.

Simple pain management. If your daughter complains of cramping with her periods, the best place to start is with 1 tab (200 mg) of ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) taken every 6 hours as needed. This may be increased to 2 tabs if your daughter is at least 12 years old and 100 lbs. Always take ibuprofen with food to prevent stomach upset. If your daughter’s pain is interfering with her daily activities and an ibuprofen regimen is not helping, talk to your health care provider.

Keeping track of cycles/fertility. This will become important for older girls, especially who is considering becoming sexually active. In the first year of menstruation, cycles can be very irregular.

Girls are getting their periods at a younger age, so be selective about what your daughter needs to know at any stage. A 10 year old needs simpler information than a girl who is 14 or 15 years old. The key is to open communication channels, or have information available so they can absorb what they are ready for.

Remember to look at menstruation both from a physical and emotional standpoint. Your daughter may be feeling anxious due to other changes that come with puberty such as weight gain or moodiness. The best tone for your conversation will be sensitive and relaxed, but straight-forward.

Step 2 – Get Comfortable!

The more you talk about and think about menstruation the more ordinary it becomes. Practice the discussion on your spouse or good friends first, and then you may be able to bring it up with your daughter as if it is second nature.

Step 3 – Dive In and Have the Conversation!

Open the lines of communication – and keep them open. Your daughter may not be fully receptive to the conversation at first, but make sure she knows that she can always ask you questions. Chances are that she will relax a bit and come to you with questions once she has thought about it. The conversation will get easier each time – and you will have established an open, honest venue for discussion of so many more topics to come!

Navigating girls, puberty, and your daughter’s first period may never be easy, but it can become less intimidating with preparation. An added benefit: learning how to handle this challenging conversation should make subsequent ones a bit less stressful.

Introduction: Puberty in adolescents is always accompanied with many psychological changes and they require education during this period of life. The need for education in adolescent females with vision loss is more sensitive.

Objective: This study aimed at investigating health education needs of puberty in blind adolescent females at specialized centers in Tehran in the academic year of 2012 to 2013.

Materials and Methods: The present research was a descriptive study. One hundred blind females between 9 to 19 years old were studied based on the use of simple sampling during the academic year of 2012 to 2013. The data collection tool was a self-made questionnaire including 30 questions, which was used by samples after the confirmation of validity and reliability. For data analysis, the SPSS software version 16 was used.

Results: The rate of desirable awareness regarding physical and psychological health was 12% and 28%, respectively, and the most important source of obtaining information was the participants’ mothers with a frequency of 42%.

Discussion and Conclusion: Puberty education is a necessity in order to increase awareness of blind girls in relation to physical and psychological health. Since these adolescents’ mothers were the most important source of obtaining information, the researchers could achieve positive outcomes with education based on the adolescents needs.

Preparing for Your Adolescents Teenage Growth Spurt

Here’s how to spot the signs of an impending growth spurt in your teen.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Duration

AUG. 31, 2021 4 MIN. READ

Adolescence, or the teenage years, is usually a time of major growth and development. Your child may experience a drastic change in height, accompanied by puberty milestones. These adjustments can come on quick and sometimes be surprising — for both your child and you — but the best way to mitigate any confusion is to educate your child on the changes to come.

Parents can play a large role in helping children navigate the adolescent years and become young adults. Knowing the signs of a teenage growth spurt is the first step in helping your child feel safe and supported during this time of change.

Here’s what to be aware of and the nutritional needs they’ll have during this period.

Adolescent Growth and Development

Growth spurts and changes due to puberty are common during adolescence, but periods of growth are usually erratic. Your child may grow several inches in several months, followed by a period of slow growth. Each child is different, so it can be hard to predict when they may experience a growth spurt.

The same goes for puberty and signs of maturation. Girls and boys evolve at different ages.

The beginning of menstruation is a significant adolescent milestone for many young women. This can occur around 12 years of age, although each child is different. Growth spurts for girls usually occur between the ages of 11 and 16.

Growth spurts for boys can range between the ages of 13 and 18, but sometimes final height is not reached until their early 20s.

Nutrition During an Adolescent’s Growth Spurt

It may come as no surprise that growth spurts are accompanied by an increase in appetite and higher nutrient requirements. Your child is growing, and their first inclination may be to reach for junk food, but it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet throughout the adolescent years.

Specifically, adolescents need protein for muscle growth and key nutrients for bone building like calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K. It’s also crucial that teenagers take in enough calories to match their nutrient needs, especially if they happen to play sports.

Calorie requirements for adolescent males and females vary widely from 1600 to 3000 calories per day, depending on their activity levels. Dietary recommendations suggest that 50% or more of total daily calories should come from carbohydrates, with a limited amount of added sugars.

Protein requirements vary between 10 and 30% of their daily calories. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 46 grams for teenage girls and 52 grams for teenage boys per day. Although teens typically get more than enough fat in their diet via fast food choices or unhealthy snacks, it’s important to reinforce healthy swaps for fat like avocado, nuts, nut butters, and whole eggs because fat is important for the absorption of some essential nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. .

During this time of significant growth and high nutrient needs, it’s important for your teen to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of lean protein, like poultry, eggs, fish, soy, beans and legumes, as well as calcium and vitamin D, like dairy, leafy greens and fatty fish like salmon.

Growth spurts are fueled by a delicate interplay of hormones, genetics, and nutrition. While we can’t control genetics and hormones, we can influence nutrition. It’s important to make sure that your child’s intake of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals supports healthy growth.

Asset 11: Family Boundaries Asset 2: Positive Family Communication Asset 3: Other Adult Relationships Asset 36: Peaceful Conflict Resolution

By RezilientKidz

How do we deal with an unhappy and contrary pubescent boy? Our ten-year-old son has just hit puberty, and it seems to have drastically altered his personality. He went from a generally happy little boy who laughed all the time to a miserable pre-teen who is always fighting with someone – my wife and me, his siblings, his teachers, his friends, you name it. What do you suggest we do about it?

No doubt about it – you’re up against a challenging situation. When a child enters puberty, the physical, emotional, and relational changes involved can be stressful for the entire family. To complicate matters, your son is entering puberty fairly early for a male, which can make it even more difficult to negotiate the transition. This could be the reason for some of the bad‐tempered behavior you’ve been seeing.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, boys start puberty anywhere from ten to fourteen years of age, with most completing the process by fifteen or sixteen. Those who begin very early face some unique liabilities. They may feel a sense of shame or embarrassment, as their bodies begin to show obvious signs of approaching adulthood while most of their peers still look like ten‐year‐old children. Boys who enter puberty late in the game also face adjustment issues, but from the opposite end of the spectrum – their friends look like young men, but their bodies are still immature. It’s easy to understand why many of these kids dread going to P.E. class and the boys’ locker room.

You can help your son through this adjustment process in two ways. First, provide him with plenty of medically accurate information so that he can understand what’s happening with his body. Keep the lines of communication open – and keep it as positive as possible (Asset #2: Positive Family Communication). Let him know that this period of change is only temporary and that you went through the same thing when you were a boy. Assure him that even though he may feel like he’s going crazy, he’s not! Another helpful tool may be to find other trusted adults that can share with him what they went through or just be a listening ear (Asset #3: Other Adult Relationships).

Secondly, provide him with plenty of love, support, and encouragement during this time. Extend him an extra measure of grace as he experiences emotional ups and downs. Give him space when he needs it. At the same time, let him know what the boundaries (Asset #11: Family Boundaries) are, and that you won’t tolerate aggressive, destructive, or disrespectful behavior in your home. This time can be a wonderful opportunity to teach him Asset #36: Peaceful Conflict Resolution. If he’s frustrated, upset, or out of sorts, he needs to learn how to express these feelings in ways that won’t harm other people.

My 8-year-old slumps in front of his laptop. His teacher begins the lesson, and he begins building a Lego structure. I stand behind him, alert, paying attention to his teacher, in order to keep him on task.

At his last teacher/parent conference, we all agreed he pays attention better when he has an object in his hands. This was when students were in-person. It’s yet to be formally determined if it works during virtual school. We’ve been in virtual school since November and I’m exhausted.

My son has been labeled neurodivergent, but we are still seeking out formal assessments to see if he meets the criteria for an official diagnosis. In the meantime, his current school has expanded his IEP services to help him at school.

But it’s my responsibility to implement most of these services.

Like parents everywhere, my husband and I have taken on a more direct role in our kid’s education. Like parents everywhere, we are just getting by. For my husband and I, there’s another obstacle we have to try to bust through; we are blind. This means we can’t always access material in the same way. And we hope that online material is accessible.

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But here we are. I have organized worksheets and textbooks on a table, placing Braille labels on as much as possible. His teacher directs the students to find a specific page in their math workbook. My son continues to sit. My hand grazes along labels until I find the math book. I raise my voice, asking him to help. He acts like he’s coming out of a trance. He grabs the book while I rifle around the pencil box, looking for a sharpened pencil. Turning around, I hand it to him. I snap at him, demanding he take it when he continues to sit there. Then, I discover his math book still closed. I feel a buzz in my head, take a deep breath, and ask him to find the correct page.

I’m lost during his math lessons. This is not the math we learned 30-some odd years ago. I repeat his teacher’s questions, hoping my son follows along. Rarely do I hear his pencil scratch across the paper.

Writing is his least favorite subject. He says he hates writing. Knowing he’s more engaged when discussing his interest, I work with him to write about his favorite subjects during writing. Usually it involves building ships, specifically the Titanic. We discuss what the beginning, middle, and end should be. We are lucky if we do more than three sentences. I leave him to write.

There’s a distinct sound a pencil or pen makes when writing. It’s different than the sound it makes when drawing. I hear his pencil scratch in broad, circling arcs and frantic scribbles. I ask if he’s writing, and he says yes. I ask him to read what he’s writing. It’s clear from his stumbling, hesitant words that he’s making it up. When I ask him to repeat, it’s not the same.

I hang my head and send his teacher an email.

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Finally, it’s small group break-outs, which means they spend time on a variety of educational apps. He usually enjoys this part of the day. The school has supplied students with Chromebooks. Technically, Chromebooks have an accessibility feature for blind and low vision users. It’s a built-in screen reader called Vox. Neither my husband or I are familiar with Chromebooks and Vox. We prefer Apple products and its screen reader VoiceOver or JAWS on our laptops.

The problem with screen readers is that if an app or website is incompatible, we can’t help our kids navigate it. It also does not allow our kids to access parts of the app/site that are inaccessible. So, for school, we don’t turn on Vox on his Chromebook.

He’s 8, behind in reading, and not experienced with tablets and computers. When he inevitably runs into a problem, I do my best to help him. I have to physically scroll for him, sliding my finger up the screen, asking him to read what he can. If I know what a visual element should be, I ask if he sees it. If he knows how to access an app but has technical difficulties, there’s only so much I can do without being able to access it myself. We both end up frustrated, pacing in our respective corners, taking deep breaths.

Millions of people in the United States are blind and low vision, and this number is projected to increase by 25 percent each decade, according to the National Institutes of Health. Contrary to popular belief, more often than not, it’s not our actual disabilities creating obstacles, but it’s the lack of equal access. If accessibility were built into devices and digital platforms, there would be no issue.

As a disabled student, my son is rightfully provided with services allowing him an educational experience that works better for him. But as a disabled parent, my access needs are not considered, and in most cases, the school is not required to accommodate me. My blindness is not the problem, but the lack of equal access is. This is an ongoing problem, but in 2021, with virtual school our reality, it’s a barrier keeping me from adequately assisting my kids with school.

  • RELATED:How Parents Can Help Children With Attention and Learning Issues With Remote, Hybrid, or In-Person Learning

I’ve been on my feet for six hours straight. The school day is finally over. For the first time today, my son smiles, excitement bouncing off him. He slams his tablet shut and streaks up to his bedroom. I hear Legos crash together as he sifts through a pile. I’m ready to tumble into bed.

He is now relaxed, building a ship, finally focused on what he wants. Today’s expectations lifted and set aside. My tension remains though. When I became blind in my 20s, I didn’t expect my barriers to come from society’s inability to consider my needs. Seventeen years later, and I’m still confounded by the lack of accessibility that’s my actual obstacle. I tidy up, trying to unwind. I need downtime before we combat these issues again.

Tomorrow, we will repeat the cycle again.

Tomorrow, I will continue to push for accessibility and opportunity.

My son leaps down the stairs shouting my name. His words spill out as he describes the ship he has built. I sweep his mop of hair off his forehead before skimming my hands across a two-foot ship-like structure. His words continue to tumble out. Air whips past me as he races back upstairs.

My hope for the future is that neither of us will be deemed different just because we access the world at times in different ways. I want both of us to know accommodations will readily be available. I do not want us to bristle before every encounter, armed and prepared to demand these accommodations. I want us to live in a world where being disabled is simply one of many ways of being human.

Puberty is an annoying, exciting time in your life when everything changes. Body parts evolve, hair grows in new places and hormones released into your bloodstream make you feel all the feels. Excessive sweating during puberty is also common in both boys and girls. But it’s one of those changes that’s not talked about enough.

Today we’re covering everything you need to know about sweating during puberty — why it happens, how to know if you have it how to stop it from taking over your life.

Why You Experience Sweating During Puberty

First, it’s important to know that sweating during puberty is 100 percent normal.

There are two types of sweat glands in our bodies – eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands sweat to prevent your body from overheating. Apocrine glands continuously release sweat, but emotional stressors like fear, nervousness and excitement make them sweat even more.

The apocrine glands activate during puberty all three million of them. You sweat from more places than ever before, and thanks to hormones, you experience a new range of emotions.

Think of it this way: apocrine glands + new emotional stressors = more sweat.

Now that you know about the biology behind sweating during puberty, how can you tell if you’re experiencing it?

The 5 Signs of Puberty Sweat

Here are the five signs of puberty sweat.

1. You Sweat in Nerve-Wracking Situations

One of the first signs of puberty sweat is sweating in nerve-wracking or tense situations. You may notice for the first time in your life that you get sweaty during big presentations at school, dances or on dates. It’s called stress sweat. And those recently-activated apocrine glands? They’re responsible.

More on Stress Sweating During Puberty

You may also notice pit stains on your shirts — wet marks, rings or yellow and white blotches that appear out of nowhere. These are all stress sweat (and therefore puberty) related.

Because stress sweat hits at a moment’s notice, dealing with it can be embarrassing! You may isolate yourself from your peers or avoid social situations in fear of sweat. And because sweating during puberty happens in your teen years, bullies might be an issue too.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to combat puberty sweat and resources to help you deal. For a complete list of solutions, check out our sweat 101 page on stress sweat.

2. You Sweat for No Reason

When you’re a child, exercise and heat are the body’s only sweat triggers. You know exactly when you’re going to sweat and when you aren’t. (Soccer practice = yes, walking to class = no.) But once you hit puberty, things are a little different.

Because the apocrine glands continuously release sweat, sometimes it feels like you’re sweating for no reason. Physical tasks that would have never made you sweat as a child suddenly leave you drenched.

When you exert yourself during puberty, you sweat from your eccrine glands and your apocrine glands — which turns into a lot of sweat altogether.

3. Certain Areas Get Sweatier Than Others

Another sign is sweating in specific areas.

There’s a high concentration of apocrine sweat glands in your armpits, groin and chest. So, if you notice more sweat in those areas, it could be due to puberty.

4. Your Sweat Starts to Smell

Apocrine gland sweat smells worse than eccrine gland sweat. One way to tell if you’re sweating due to puberty is if you detect an intense, oniony odor.

Why does puberty sweat smell like this? The same apocrine gland proteins that cause yellow pit stains also cause B.O. When you sweat, the bacteria breaks down proteins in your sweat to produce a pungent scent.

5. It’s Been About 1 Year Since You Started Puberty

Puberty sweat begins about one year into puberty. It’s considered one of the “later signs of puberty.” The average age for girls is 11, while the average age for boys is 12.

Now that you’re aware of the signs of puberty sweat let’s talk about six ways to stop it from taking over your life.

6 Ways to Stop Sweating During Puberty from Taking Over Your Life

When you first experience puberty sweat, it can catch you off guard. Here are six ways to navigate sweating in your daily life

1. Keep Extra Clothes Handy

Your first line of defense is to keep extra clothes handy while sweating during puberty. Because stress sweat tends to occur out of the blue, it’s helpful to keep an extra shirt or two in your backpack or locker.

2. Wear Armpit Pads, Garment Guards or Dress Shields

For the times when changing clothes is out of the question and you need to combat pit sweat, use armpit pads, garment guards or dress shields. These are disposable or washable cushions that you pin or adhere to your skin or shirt to soak up armpit sweat.

Wear these whenever you attend a social event and keep an extra pair in your back pocket, car or purse. That way, if you sweat a lot and need to change them, you can run to the bathroom and swap them. No one will know.

Fair warning: If you choose the adhesive kind of pads, they tend to leave a sticky residue on your skin and shirt. And the ones that attach directly to your skin are painful to remove.

3. Use Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant

Another option is to use a stronger antiperspirant. Antiperspirant is different from deodorant. While deodorant prevents BO, antiperspirant creates a plug in your sweat glands to block sweat. (You can learn more about the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant here.)

Prescription-strength antiperspirant has a higher concentration of aluminum, which can more effectively block sweat. You can get a prescription from your doctor or find clinical-strength antiperspirants at the pharmacy.

Make sure you speak with a doctor and follow all application directions carefully before using prescription antiperspirant.

4. Try Natural Sweat Treatments

Although antiperspirants are safe according to the you may want to choose a natural sweat solution.

Luckily, there are many home remedies for sweat. Potatoes, tea tree oil, lemon and a baking soda corn-starch combination can be used as sweat stoppers. Drinking black tea, green tea, wheatgrass juice and tomato juice also helps squelch sweat. Click here for a complete break-down of natural ways to stop sweat.

5. Talk to Your Doctor About Medications and Anti-Sweat Procedures

Puberty may be what’s causing you to sweat, but sometimes the situation is more serious. Approximately 365 million people in the world (5% of the population) have hyperhidrosis – or chronic sweating.

If you think you’re sweating too much, talk to your parents and doctor. They can help you explore treatment options like prescription-strength antiperspirant, Botox for underarm sweating, or miraDry (a non-invasive treatment)

Be sure to ask your doctor questions about each of the above treatments. Botox and ETS surgery in particular often come with nasty side effects.

They’re also expensive and health insurance doesn’t always cover it.

6. Wear a Sweat Proof Undershirt

If you never want to think about sweating during puberty and its effect on your life again, try a sweat proof undershirt like the Thompson Tee.

Made with patented Hydro-Shield technology, this undershirt protects you from the most noticeable and embarrassing side effects of sweating during puberty!

The Thompson Tee comes in men and women’s sizes, from extra-small to triple extra-large. Choose from two styles: Slim Fit or Original Fit. The Slim Fit is snug to your body and the a little looser. You can wear it as a T-shirt or as an undershirt underneath your clothes to stop embarrassing pit stains.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Self-esteem is simply how you feel about yourself and how you judge your worth. This evaluation has a profound impact on the choices you make since it determines, to a great extent, what you consider yourself capable and worthy of doing. Do you view yourself as strong, smart and valuable? If so, you probably take risks, speak out and stand up for what you believe in. Do you view yourself as ugly, weak or worthless? If so, you most likely are fearful, stay in the shadows and question every decision you make. How you view yourself usually determines how you act around others and how you see yourself as a role in society. Self-esteem, whether it is negative or positive, can be damaging or uplifting, respectively. Teenage low self-esteem stems from teens who feel poorly about themselves and judge themselves to be inferior to others are at risk of not fulfilling their true potential in life. They may not take the initiative to set and pursue personal goals; they may not put any effort into their education or careers; they may accept poor treatment from family, friends and romantic partners and all of these things could potentially ruin their future.

Causes of low teenage self-esteem

Self-esteem begins in early childhood and is directly related to upbringing and primary caregiver relationships. Absentee parents, negative minded parents, abusive parents, authority figures in conflict, unsupportive parents, and disapproving authority figures all lead to the development of low self-esteem in childhood which eventually carries on into adolescence and adulthood.

  • Uninvolved/Negligent Parents: Parents who spend minimal time in the home raising their kids or parents and guardians who are struggling with mental health issues, substance abuse issues or other challenges may not be able to provide their children with the care, guidance, and attention they need and deserve. This can cause significant abandonment and self-esteem problems for young people.
  • Negative Peers: Being part of a social group that brings others down by disrespect, peer pressure, and bullying can cause others to feel that something is wrong with them and they are to be blamed. Over time these negative behaviors can become damaging and can destroy an individual’s self-esteem.
  • Trauma: Abuse, whether physical, emotional, sexual or a combination of these often causes feelings of shame and even guilt. A teenager may feel that he or she did something to deserve the abuse or that he or she was not worthy of the respect, love, and care of the abuser. Teenagers who have suffered abuse may have a significant amount of anxiety and depression associated with the event as well, which can interfere with their ability to lead a fulfilling life.
  • Body Image: Body image is a massive factor for a teenager’s self-esteem, especially that of young women. According to studies, 53% of girls are unhappy with their bodies, a number that rises to 78% by the age of 17 and 50% of teen girls and 30% of teen boys practice unhealthy behaviors in an effort to lose weight, including skipping meals, vomiting, smoking cigarettes, fasting and using laxatives. Female bodies are constantly objectified in the media, making it seem as though their bodies exist for others to look at, touch, or use. Puberty can be dramatic and scary for many which can lead teenagers to compare themselves to what they see in the media leading to feelings of inadequacy, shame, and disempowerment. While young women are disproportionately affected by body image messages, young men are not immune. Many young men struggle with low self-esteem associated with weight and body composition, particularly concerning muscle mass.

By Essilor News

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How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

While it’s expected that hormones can influence changes in mood, skin, and weight, experts say hormones have an impact on vision, too.

Female Hormones and Vision

“Women often experience some changes in their vision during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause as a result of hormones,” says Albert Pang, O.D., optometrist and owner,of Trinity Eyecare in Plano, Texas.

Estrogen is thought to be the biggest culprit, and most of the hormonally charged changes in vision occur during milestone stages of a woman’s life.

When a young girl enters puberty, Dr. Pang says the sudden increase in estrogen in her body may cause an increase in nearsightedness, also called myopia. During pregnancy a woman’s body will have a constant surge of both estrogen and progesterone, which can also cause blurry vision or trouble focusing.

“Changes in vision related to pregnancy are usually temporary and reverse themselves a few weeks after delivery,” says Dr. Pang.

The hormonal shifts associated with perimenopause and menopause can also trigger vision changes.

“When a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels greatly decrease, as is common with menopause, vision is usually less ‘nearsighted’ than before menopause,” said Dr. Pang.

The result is trouble reading fine print or focusing on things close up without the help of lenses or a magnifying glass. Dr. Pang says the increased water retention that’s common with a loss of estrogen is what generally leads to inflammation of the cornea, which makes it difficult to focus.

The dip in estrogen common with menopause and perimenopause can also cause dry eyes, says Edward Kondrot, M.D., ophthalmologist, founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center, and clinical director of Integrative Medicine of the American Medical College of Homeopathy.

A woman’s menstrual cycle can also affect vision.

“During the first week of menstruation the typical elevated estrogen level can cause blurred vision, trouble focusing, and watery eyes,” says Dr. Kondrot.

Aside from changes during pregnancy, most of the changes in vision that occur during puberty and menopause are irreversible.

Male Hormones and Vision

Our eyes may also be affected by androgens, “male” hormones like testosterone, which both men and women make. For example, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often have dry eyes due to excess androgen levels. Whether you’re a man or a woman, lower androgen levels may affect specific glands that make tears or the oily film that keeps the surface of your eye moist. Finally, middle-age men may find their vision isn’t what it used to be due to low testosterone levels.

A Healthy Diet and a Comprehensive Eye Exam Can Help

Maintaining a healthy diet can help protect vision and reduce the impact of hormones.

Eating several servings of fruits and vegetables a day can help reduce inflammation in the body.

“Avoid processed foods and those with preservatives or artificial sweeteners to promote healthy vision and eye health,” says Dr. Kondrot.

Talk to your healthcare professional about incorporating certain foods, supplements, or omega-3-rich oils like primrose, borage, and flaxseed into your diet to protect your vision. Similarly, a comprehensive eye exam with an eyecare professional can help you prevent and address vision changes that may be the result of fluctuating hormones.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Guest post by child psychologist Ariella Silver and adolescent social worker Jordan Wishner, of New York City’s Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, which provides free, comprehensive and confidential health and wellness care to young people ages 10 to 24.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

During puberty, teens experience changes in their bodies, become more focused on who is and isn’t “cool,” and start to experience sexual and romantic urges. These changes can be tough for anyone. But for kids on the autism spectrum and their families, this time can be particularly challenging.

As specialists in autism and mental health care who work with teens every day at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, we’re here to help families figure out what to expect when children on the spectrum reach puberty and how to help their adolescents through this period of change.

We hope you find our advice post a useful addition to the Autism Speaks ATN/AIR-P Puberty and Adolescence Resource: A Guide for Parents, available for free download from the Autism Speaks website.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Changing bodies
Everyone’s body changes during puberty. When boys hit puberty, the voice lowers in pitch and the penis grows larger. When girls reach puberty, breasts grow larger, menstruation starts. In both sexes, puberty brings the growth of pubic and armpit hair and an increased tendency for acne. These changes can be tough for anyone. But many children on the autism spectrum find these body changes deeply alarming.

It’s important to talk to your child before these changes happen. On the topic of periods, for example, you’ll want to teach your daughter about using feminine hygiene products. As a parent, you can use tools such as pictures or cartoons to explain to your child the changes happening in his or her body. (See the visual supports section in the Autism Speaks puberty guide.)

In addition, there’s a growing amount of research associating puberty with a new or increased tendency for seizures among those who have autism. It’s important to discuss this with your child’s doctor and learn how to recognize possible signs and symptoms. If you have further concerns, it’s a good idea to meet with an autism-qualified neurologist to talk through your options.

Sexual feelings
During puberty, most people start to experience sexual urges. It’s likewise normal for children on the spectrum to feel sexually aroused. But for teens with autism-associated sensory issues, these new sensations can cause anxiety.

Your child might also start to masturbate – also a healthy and normal part of development. However, unlike their typically developing peers, some teens on the autism spectrum lack the social awareness to know when and where it’s appropriate, and when it’s not. As awkward as it may feel, it’s important to discuss this issue with your child. If you’re not comfortable bringing it up, or need assistance on how to start the conversation, talk to your child’s therapist—he or she will be happy to help. (Find tips on how to broach this conversation in the Autism Speaks puberty guide.)

School challenges
Most everyone finds middle school and high school more difficult than grade school. For children on the spectrum, though, advancing in grades can pose unique challenges.

For example, if your child is in mainstream classes, his or her teachers will ask for more abstract thinking and expect assignments that can’t be completed through memorization. Many children on the spectrum are fantastic at recall, but struggle with abstract concepts. So be aware that school might get much more difficult and this, in turn, can hurt self-esteem.

During this time, you can work with your child and his therapist to figure out ways to build esteem and a sense of self that aren’t related to grades. His therapist can also help your teen learn to deal with the frustration that comes with having to ask for help.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

It can also help to involve the school counselor and teachers in discussing strategies for breaking down information that your child will be better able to understand. Even though classes might become more challenging for your child, his or her school can be an invaluable source of support.

Puberty happens to everyone, and it’s important to make a plan with your child’s teacher, doctor, and therapist for what to do during the critical teen years. With planning and support, you can make this time of changes as smooth as possible.

Acne is usually considered a teenage problem, but the truth is, almost anyone can develop acne after puberty. Acne develops when the hair follicle pore is clogged with oil, dead skin cells and dirt. Bacteria from the surface of the skin are added and a tiny infection is formed. There are four main grades starting with comedones, also called blackheads if they are open and whiteheads if they are closed. This grade rarely causes scarring unless the patient picks at it because it is only on the surface of the skin. The second grade includes papules and pustules. These also rarely cause scarring unless they are poked and picked. Inflamed lesions are grade three and severe lesions may cause scarring. Finally, nodular lesions are deep and almost always cause scarring.

There are several different types of acne treatments for teens and adults. When you have a consultation with our specialist at Grossman Dermatology, your acne will be examined and the right treatment for the type of acne you have may be prescribed. If your acne is severe and persistent, leaving scars on your face and lowering your self-esteem, our dermatologist may be able to help with that as well.

For starters, our specialist may recommend a nonprescription drug that attacks the bacteria that causes the acne. It may take weeks to be effective and if you stop using it, the acne may return. There are several other topical treatments that our specialist may recommend. Some prescription treatments include antibiotics and retinoids that may have minor side effects. Other treatment options include the use of laser or other light sources. If you are left with deep scarring from acne, there are also several acne treatments that can either remove the scar completely or greatly reduce its appearance.

There are a wide variety of acne treatments because there are several different grades of acne and several different symptoms that can be treated. Since acne treatments may interact with other drugs and with herbal remedies, it is important to tell our specialist about any medications, including birth control pills and dietary supplements, that you are taking.

Whether you are a teen or an adult, the team at Grossman Dermatology can help you achieve clear skin with the right acne treatments. Make an appointment at our office in Santa Monica or New York City to learn more information about your options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your acne.

Comedian and Writer

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

One of my comedy heroes, Greg Davies, described his teenage years as the ‘Dark Years’. I think this is an apt description – for me it was acne, uncontrollable hormones, paranoia and the desperate need to ‘fit in’. However, unlike Mr Davies and most of my secondary school peers, mine was actually a bit dark. literally! I have been visually impaired since I was three years old. I was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at three, leading to uveitis glaucoma (a condition of the eyes) with which I was diagnosed at four years old. Essentially my eyes and knees have spent the last 27 years being ruddy annoying! I don’t want to clog this up with medical jargon but both these conditions are chronic and have resulted in permanent sight loss in my left eye and complete sight loss for a year when I was twenty-one years old. I retain decent vision in my right eye and live independently. My arthritis is controlled by medication and physiotherapy and all things considered I am very lucky to have the sight and mobility I have.

Now puberty is tough for anyone, but let me paint a picture of a teenage Georgie: very short, skinny, flat chested, buck-toothed, essentially a ball of teenage angst. I let the world know I wasn’t happy and was what some might call, ‘a bit of a Madam’. I was totally obsessed with the singer P!nk and even cut all my hair off to emulate her. Not a look that suited me and resulted in the nickname Rat-Man from my older brother. I shall never forgive him! I managed to get in with the cool crowd by being something of the class clown and that skill of being funny got me into the fold. I behaved like some court jester to fit in because teenagers are cruel, probably because they are also going through puberty and lashing out at a world they don’t know how to fit into either.

All I wanted was for a boy to like me, to have some breasts and straight teeth. This fear of being ‘different’ was why I coped so poorly with my visual impairment during puberty. I tried to ignore my poorly eyes and dodgy knees through fear they would differentiate me from the other kids. In fact, I went blind in my left eye at 15 years old and didn’t even sniff at it. I privately accepted it and publicly kept up appearances of being a cool, funny teenager. I didn’t take certain medications, I was rude to my doctors and totally unappreciative of the amazing health care I received. A health system radically in decline but we’ll come to that later.

I was convinced my inability to do PE would isolate me and if you mix that in with rampant hormones and self-loathing you have a nasty piece of work. I didn’t reach out for help, didn’t try to accept who I was and it was only my parents who saw my fears. I was in total denial that I was disabled; I feared it – which is part of the problem facing disability today. A fear I now tackle now in my own comedy. The trigger for me was when I lost the sight in my remaining right eye at 21. It took that for me to accept my disability but, more importantly, to be proud of it. It is a part of who I am and we must stop seeing disability as a flaw.

I deeply regret not being more accepting of who I was in my teens and implore any disabled young person not to do the same as me. Don’t let the ravages of puberty and peer pressure get to you. The moment I became more accepting, I felt at peace with who I was and quietly proud. Sure, you might not be like the ‘popular’ girls at school. You might have to inject a medication or wear a wrist splint and big glasses and sit on the side-lines in PE. It’s a part of who you are and you are more interesting because you have an extraordinary way of looking at the world. And if you’re anything like me, quite literally you will look at the world differently! Our teens are such a tiny part of our lives. Don’t waste them by being a moody hormonal paranoid teenager. Instead shout: “I am disabled. I am proud and I AM no different”.

I would also add, don’t make the easiest years of your life harder with hormonal paranoia taking over. The hardest years are yet to come. It’s actually in recent years I have truly discovered what isolation feels like. My life is having to change due to government cuts to the benefits system, Disability Living Allowance and the NHS.

Nowadays I work with several disability charities, including the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), and my work as comedian and writer are inspired by my disability. I have essentially made my disability a commodity and it has been the beginning of my life’s work. I bet teenage Georgie would never have expected this, me doing shows about my one eye, the state of the nation and weird doctors. She might have even hated the idea. But she can shut up because the time has come that we all talk about disability more and this should start from those crucial years of puberty and teen angst when you are just working out who you are. Disability wasn’t the end of my world. it was just the beginning.

For advice, information and support about living with sight loss, visit RNIB’s website or call the charity’s helpline on 0303 123 9999.

Catch me at The Edinburgh Fringe from 4-28 August – check out my website for details.

HuffPost UK Lifestyle has launched EveryBody, a new section calling for better equality and inclusivity for people living with disability and invisible illness. The aim is to empower those whose voices are not always heard and redefine attitudes to identity, lifestyle and ability in 2017. We’ll be covering all manner of lifestyle topics – from health and fitness to dating, sex and relationships.

We’d love to hear your stories. To blog for the section, please email [email protected] with the subject line ‘EveryBody’. To flag any issues that are close to your heart, please email [email protected], again with the subject line ‘EveryBody’.

Join in the conversation with #HPEveryBody on Twitter and Instagram.

In this Article

  • What Is Deaf-Blindness?
  • What Causes Deaf-Blindness?
  • What Support Do You Need With Deaf-Blindness?

What Is Deaf-Blindness?

Deaf-blindness means you have some loss of both your hearing and vision — enough to cause serious problems in the way you communicate, work, and learn. Some people with deaf-blindness can’t hear or see at all. Others have varying amounts of hearing and vision.

There are around 50,000 deaf-blind people in the U.S. About 11,000 of them are under age 21.

In most cases, people with deaf-blindness also have other physical and mental disabilities or complicated health needs.

What Causes Deaf-Blindness?

There are more than 70 causes of deaf-blindness. The most common are premature birth and CHARGE syndrome. CHARGE syndrome is a pattern of birth defects that affect the heart, genitals, eyes, and ears, among other areas.

Several other disorders you’re born with or inherit can cause deaf-blindness, including:

  • Usher syndrome.В This causes ear abnormalities and eye disease, which lead to hearing and vision loss that gets worse over time.
  • Down syndrome.В People with Down syndrome are at higher risk for birth defects and other problems that cause hearing and vision loss.
  • Stickler syndrome.В This is a group of genetic conditions that lead to a distinct facial appearance along with eye and ear problems.
  • Dandy-Walker syndrome.В In this condition, a part of your brain called the cerebellum doesn’t develop properly. Among other problems, it can cause fluid to build up and put pressure on the brain.
  • Goldenhar syndrome.В This mainly affects the ears, eyes, and spine, and also causes unevenness in the face.

Certain complications that affect babies before or at birth also cause deaf-blindness. They include:

  • Congenital cytomegalovirus.В Babies can be born with this virus. It affects the brain, liver, lungs, and hearing, among other things.
  • Hydrocephalus.В This is a buildup of spinal fluid that puts pressure on the brain.
  • Microcephaly.В This happens when a baby’s head is smaller than normal. It can happen on its own or as a symptom of another condition.

Some people are born with either a vision or hearing problem, then develop the other impairment later on because of an illness or injury.

What Support Do You Need With Deaf-Blindness?

People with deaf-blindness have challenges with communication. In many cases, you can learn how to better use the vision and hearing that you still have. Training from rehabilitation experts can help with this. Some of the strategies they might recommend include:

  • Stick to smaller groups.
  • Look for quiet spaces without background noise.
  • Learn to ask others for clarification.
  • Repeat your understanding of another’s idea.
  • Use a phone or other digital device to write or text communication.

Sign language can help those with enough vision to see it. If you don’t, you can learn a “tactile” form of sign language that uses touch. The deaf-blind person puts their hands over those of the signer to feel what that person is saying. They reply with taps, pressure, finger shapes, and other touch methods.

You can also get devices that can help you understand others and express yourself. They include things like Braille TTYs (sometimes called text telephones).

Education is often a challenge as well. Each deaf-blind child needs a program that addresses their particular educational needs. They’ll need frequent evaluations as well as support from teachers and their families. Every state in the U.S. has a federally funded deaf-blind project to provide training and help to educators and parents.

At school or elsewhere, a child or adult with deaf-blindness may need help from a specialist, sometimes known as an “intervener.” This qualified assistant helps the person with deaf-blindness navigate their environment and communicate with others. This assistance is often essential for deaf-blind people in new places or situations where they don’t know the people, language, or surroundings.

Show Sources

American Association for the Deaf-Blind: “Frequently Asked Questions About Deaf-Blindness.”

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: “Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).”

Center for Parent Information and Resources: “Deaf-Blindness.”

Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille: “Communication between people with

deafblindness: how could it be facilitated?”

National Center on Deaf-Blindness: “Deaf-Blindness Overview.”

National Library Service For The Blind And Print Disabled: “Deaf-Blindness.”

Oregon Deaf-Blind Project: “Four basic categories of Deafblindness.”

Perkins School for the Blind: “Total Communication.”

A hub for Marshall Medical Centers events and information.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Thu, Dec 28, 2017 at 02:40 PM

Almost 200 Boaz fifth-graders learned that it’s smart – and fun – to learn about the changes they’re going through.

Puberty class is not usually considered to be fun, but when students get to attend a SmartStart session to learn about growing up, they have a really good time.

Nearly 200 students at Boaz Intermediate School went through SmartStart classes recently. Separate boys-only and girls-only sessions were held, using games and Q&As to get the information across. Marshall Medical sponsors the SmartStart program, which provides a free class for fifth-graders in any Marshall County school.

Boys in the Boaz class were led by Dr. Michael Luther of Sand Mountain Family Practice, while the girls were taught by Dr. Vicki Wallis of MedAssist. The informative session was followed by an exercise segment led by Ryne Jordan, an exercise physiologist at TherapyPlus South.

The fifth-graders enjoyed snacks and received a backpack that included written material to use in continuing the discussion with a parent.

SmartStart available to all fifth-graders

SmartStart is a component of Marshall Medical’s HealthyHer program, with this particular program designed for both boy and girl pre-teens facing puberty.

The SmartStart program is available free of charge to any school in Marshall County. It includes a meal and a backpack filled with goodies including a DVD of healthy exercises. Get more information by contacting Marshall Medical’s marketing department at (256) 571-8018.

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Category: Counseling

Four Signs Your Teen May Need Therapy

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

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4 Steps for Dealing with Stress in the Workplace

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Everyone deals with work-related stress at different times; it comes with the territory. Whether you work for someone else, supervise others, or lead the show as owner, different factors in the workplace can cause you to feel overwhelmed and often […]

Seasonal Affective Disorder: What Is It & How to Overcome It?

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All work and no play make for a dull winter! Why is it that when the temperature drops and the evenings grow darker, our precious free time seems to dwindle away. During the winter months, you may feel that all […]

Self-injury: Cutting, Self-Harm or Self-Mutilation

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Self-injury, also known as cutting, self-harm, or self-mutilation, occurs when someone intentionally and repeatedly harms herself/himself in a way that is impulsive and not intended to be lethal. It can be frightening for a parent to discover that their son […]

Learning to Peacefully Co-Exist with Anxiety

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Do you feel as if situations and people around you are growing more and more anxious? You are not alone. According to the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Study, anxiety has increased dramatically since the 1950’s . […]

Calli Institute’s Crash Course in College

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If you have an entire dorm room full of stuff ordered from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, know which textbooks need to be picked up on campus, and have been diligently exploring your new college class’ group on Facebook, this post […]

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GET YOUR TWEEN STARTED
WITH GOOD HYGEINE?!

Meet the HSB Kits (Hair ♥ Skin ♥ Body)

THE DAYS OF PIMPLE
PICKING ARE OVER.

Pimple Patches are a Vibe!

PUBERTY STINKS BUT
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO.

It’s time for the Tween Starter Kit

QQ, IS YOUR SKIN BACK
TO SCHOOL READY?

Stay ready with the Maskne Kit +

OILY HAIR? DRY, ITCHY
SCALP? NOT ANYMORE.

Introducing the Scalp Refresh Kit

MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU

Personal Hygiene that’s 100% you

DON’T SWEAT IT

Show Your Smooth Moves with Charcoal Deodorant

NATURAL, NOURISHING
INGREDIENTS

All the good with none of the “nasties”

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How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

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TBH | A CLEAN COMMITMENT TO TWEENS & TEENS

TBH Kids is your very own personal care brand for tweens and teens! Our collection is formulated with natural ingredients that encourage clear, hydrated skin and clean, oil free hair. TBH teaches kids and parents that good habits start early as bodies change and kids grow up. Puberty stinks, but TBH Kids is with you every step of the way.

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Precocious puberty

Read about the signs and symptoms, causes, and risk factors that may cause a child’s body to begin changing into an adult’s body too soon.

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Think about these ideas as you consider what skills and career you’d like to pursue in the future.

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Teen drug abuse: Help your teen avoid drugs

Want to prevent teen drug abuse? Understand how to talk to your teen about the consequences of using drugs.

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Dr Gurvinder Rull | Last edited 22 Mar 2010

Professional Reference articles are designed for health professionals to use. They are written by UK doctors and based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. You may find one of our health articles more useful.

Treatment of almost all medical conditions has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. NICE has issued rapid update guidelines in relation to many of these. This guidance is changing frequently. Please visit https://www.nice.org.uk/covid-19 to see if there is temporary guidance issued by NICE in relation to the management of this condition, which may vary from the information given below.

Usher’s Syndrome

In this article
  • Classification
  • Epidemiology
  • Presentation
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Investigations
  • Management
  • Prevention
  • History

Synonyms: Graefe-Sjögren syndrome, Graefe-Usher syndrome and von Graefe’s syndrome

The syndrome is a genetic defect causing retinitis pigmentosa and congenital deafness. There may also be vestibular dysfunction. Deafness is usually congenital but loss of visual acuity and visual fields, progressing to complete blindness, occurs in the teens and 20s in both Usher’s syndrome type 1 (USH1) and Usher’s syndrome type 2 (USH2). [1]

Classification

Usher’s syndrome is divided into 3 types, although a 4th type has been suggested. The 3 basic types are called USH1, USH2 and USH3 but further subdivisions use letters such as USH1a and USH1b.

A certain amount of gene mapping has been done but not for all types.

Epidemiology

The incidence is about 1 in 25,000. About 3-6% of hearing impaired children have the condition. Types 1 and 2 are more common than type 3 and together account for 90-95% of Usher’s syndrome and about 10% of all children born deaf. Usher’s syndrome represents about half of all people who are both deaf and blind. Most cases of type 3 come from Finland.

Genetics

It is autosomal recessive and so both parents must be carriers or even affected, although spontaneous mutation can occur. USH4, if it is a separate entity, is X-linked. Most authorities do not accept type 4 and it is said that there are 3 types with 8 different genes implicated. [2]

The relevant gene locus varies between types. Even the chromosome varies. The chromosomes that bear the mutation for the variations USH1, USH2 and USH3 are numbers 11, 1 and 3 respectively, although some of the subgroups are on different chromosomes.

Presentation

  • Usher’s syndrome type 1 (USH1) produces profound deafness from birth and there are severe problems with balance. Hearing aids offer little or no benefit and most communicate by sign language. Poor balance makes them slow to sit without support and they rarely learn to walk before the age of 18 months. At first, sight seems normal but they usually have some problems with vision by the time they are aged 10. Night vision is affected first but it progresses rapidly until they are completely blind.
  • Children with Usher’s syndrome type 2 (USH2) are born with moderate-to-severe hearing impairment and normal balance. The degree of hearing loss varies but most attend normal schools and benefit from hearing aids. They communicate with speech and often lip read. The higher frequencies are more affected than the lower ones. The visual problems in USH2 tend to progress more slowly than in USH1. USH2 causes visual field defects that appear in the early 20s.
  • Children with Usher’s syndrome type 3 (USH3) have normal hearing and normal or mildly impaired balance. Hearing deteriorates with time. The rate of loss of hearing and sight varies between individuals, even in the same family. Hearing problems are noticed by the teenage years and they become deaf by mid-to-late adulthood. Night blindness starts around puberty. Blind spots appear in the late teens or early 20s. By middle age they are usually blind.

Visual loss is progressive but auditory loss is constant, [3] at least in USH2.

Loss of vision [4] usually starts with night blindness and this is followed by loss of peripheral vision. Some degree of tunnel vision can continue until quite late.

In USH1 there is impairment of the vestibular system [5] that accounts for the lack of balance. It is normal in USH2 but visual feedback contributes to balance. The adequacy of vestibular function in USH3 is unknown.

Usher’s syndrome can lead to and present with psychiatric disturbances which can be difficult both to investigate and to manage. [6, 7]

Differential diagnosis

Deafness and retinitis pigmentosa are rarely found together. Most people who have retinitis pigmentosa and hearing loss probably have Usher’s syndrome type 1 (USH1) or Usher’s syndrome type 2 (USH2).

In the early stages it may be thought of purely as an auditory problem and the problem of sight is not anticipated unless there is a family history. About 1 in 4 with retinitis pigmentosa has Usher’s syndrome.

The other major cause of deafness and blindness is congenital rubella.

Investigations

Electronystagmography (ENG) to detect vestibular problems and electroretinography (ERG) to detect retinitis pigmentosa aid early detection.

Management

Early diagnosis [8] of Usher’s syndrome is important to permit special educational training to facilitate coping with the combined hearing and visual loss. The programme will depend on the severity of the auditory and visual impairments as well as the age and abilities of the individual.
They will benefit from:

  • Adjustment and career counselling
  • Access to technology such as hearing aids, assistive listening devices or cochlear implants [9] (which appear to enhance the quality of life) [10]
  • Orientation and mobility training
  • Communication services and independent living training that may include learning Braille, low vision services, or auditory training

Prevention

Although much work has been done on genetic research and gene mapping, [11] gene testing and testing for the carrier state is not yet available. There is no ante-natal diagnosis. If a child is born with the condition the risk of an affected sibling is 1 in 4.

History

Charles Howard Usher was a Scottish ophthalmologist who was born in Edinburgh in 1865. He trained at Cambridge and St Thomas’ Hospital. He described the syndrome in 1914 in a work called On the inheritance of retinitis pigmentosa, with notes of cases. [12] In it he reviewed the syndrome, describing the pathology and inheritance of 69 cases.

He was appointed ophthalmic surgeon to the Aberdeen Hospital for Sick Children and also worked in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Apart from military service in Salonika during the First World War, he remained in these posts until he retired in 1926. He died in 1942.

Discrimination, delays and systemic hurdles prevent young trans people from reaching the care they need, a new study finds.

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Piper, a 17-year-old transgender girl, says she knows she is fortunate.

She lives just outside Atlanta, with a supportive family and two rescued leopard geckos, Saturn and Juno. Queer Med, a private gender clinic, is a short drive away; two years ago, she started a regimen of gender-affirming hormones there, after five months of asking — a comparatively short wait. The treatments have precipitated a monumental shift in Piper’s perception of herself. “I’m just more confident in my body,” she said. (Piper’s family members asked that she be identified by only her first name to protect their privacy.)

Things are not perfect. Piper still sees a regular pediatrician for her other health needs, but staff members there still occasionally use the wrong pronouns or her former name. Her family’s new insurance plan is not accepted at Queer Med, so they must pay out of pocket for every visit — about $150 not including lab fees.

And the threat of her care becoming unavailable is constant, as Georgia is one of 20 states this year that introduced bills to prohibit or restrict gender-affirming treatments to minors. Piper plans to leave the South after high school, out of concern for her health and safety. But it could all be much worse, she knows. “I am so lucky,” Piper said. “A lot of people don’t get the chance.”

Many obstacles prevent young transgender people from getting the health care they need, according to a recent study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics; these include stigma and discrimination from the health care system as well as legal, economic and social obstacles to obtaining gender-affirming care. A 2019 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that about 1.8 percent of high school students in the United States identified as transgender.

The JAMA paper is the first review of qualitative studies on young transgender people’s experiences getting access to health care. It encompassed 91 studies from 17 countries over several decades, and it included transgender and nonbinary youth from 9 to 24 years old — a broad range, made necessary by the extremely limited data on the subject.

“There’s currently such a huge disconnect between health care providers and trans youth,” said Dr. Lauren Chong, a pediatric trainee at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in Australia and an author of the review.

“The findings were not surprising at all,” said Talen Wright, a graduate student studying transgender people’s mental health at University College London’s division of psychiatry, who was not involved with the research. “It’s powerful evidence that things need to change.”

The major medical associations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have endorsed gender-affirming treatment for adolescents. (However, medical guidelines recommend against children under 18 undergoing gender-affirming genital surgery.)

But treatment remains contentious for some health care providers, lawmakers and parents precisely because adolescents are involved. Puberty blockers and hormone therapy, the two gender-affirming treatments given to minors, are most effective if taken when puberty begins, around the ages of 8 to 14, before the age of independent medical consent in most states.

No single set of rules dictates when and how transgender adolescents may receive gender-affirming care. But clinicians generally conduct a series of mental health evaluations in accordance with care practices, such as those set by the World Professional Association for Transgender Healthcare or the Endocrine Society. These evaluations are meant to assess an adolescent’s understanding of themselves and confirm that medical intervention makes sense.

“It’s to ensure patients make a fully informed decision that protects their future well-being,” Dr. Chong said.

Dr. Michele Hutchison, a pediatric endocrinologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital who was not involved with the research, added: “We want to make sure it’s 100 percent justifiable and safe, to the extent you can ever do that in medicine.”

For the most part, she said, her young patients are sure of their decision. “By the time these kids come to me, they’ve known a long time,” she said.

But some young patients in the JAMA review criticized what they saw as “gate-keeping” measures in these evaluations that restricted timely access to puberty blockers and hormone therapy at a moment in development when those treatments would be most effective. Some adolescents said they felt the need to prove that they were “trans enough” to get approval, and others expressed frustration when a parent did not give approval for hormone therapy, thus blocking their access to care.

How to deal with puberty as a blind or visually impaired teen

Has Your Teen Asked for Laser Hair Removal?

November 25, 2014 by Bryant Voth

This treatment has become extremely popular. It’s often the first choice for lasting hair reduction and temporary removal for adults, and more teens are beginning to request it. Like many concerns kids in the midst of puberty may have, the appearance of hair in unwanted places may cause additional stress. Parents begin to face the. Read More

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says that by paying for employees’ abortions and financing so-called “gender-affirming care” for their children, “corporate elites have gone full crazy.” In response, he’s filed legislation that he says will prevent taxpayers from subsidizing “corporate activism.”

Rubio introduced the “No Tax Breaks for Radical Corporate Activism Act” on Tuesday, a bill that would prohibit employers from deducting expenses related to paying travel costs for employees who want an abortion, medical costs for employees seeking cross-sex hormones, or puberty-blockers for their children. The bill comes in response to several major companies that have announced new employee abortion benefits in recent weeks, including Amazon, Yelp, Citigroup, and others.

Federal tax law permits businesses to deduct certain expenses that are considered “ordinary and necessary” for operating, including employee health care plans, some medical expenses, and other related benefits. Rubio’s bill would “deny the trade or business expense deduction for the reimbursement of employee costs of child gender transition procedure or travel to obtain an abortion.”

“Our tax code should be pro-family and promote a culture of life. Instead, too often our corporations find loopholes to subsidize the murder of unborn babies or horrific ‘medical’ treatments on kids,” Rubio said in a statement. “My bill would make sure this does not happen.”

In anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — a landmark legal precedent that established a constitutional right to an abortion — pro-life lawmakers in several states have advanced laws banning or restricting abortions. If Roe is overturned, as a leaked Supreme Court majority opinion suggests it will be, 26 states have so-called trigger laws or unenforced laws on the books that would ban or severely restrict abortion access.

Several major corporations have responded by committing to pay for pregnant employees in those states to travel out of state if they want to kill their unwanted child. Amazon, the second largest private employer in the U.S., on Monday became the latest company to do so, offering to pay up to $4,000 annually in travel expenses for any pregnant employee who travels more than 100 miles for an abortion.

In an op-ed for Newsweek, Rubio criticized these companies for supporting “abortion tourism,” as well as Disney for offering to pay for gender transition “care” for children of its employees.

“While the radical Left drives this insanity, the law enables it,’ Rubio wrote. “The current U.S. tax code allows employers to deduct employee compensation and benefits. Because a lot can fall under that umbrella, the code also specifies certain expenses that don’t qualify for tax breaks. But there is no provision that prohibits Citigroup and others from deducting abortion and gender transition costs. As a result, these corporations may be able to help their employees kill their unborn children or transition their son into a daughter tax-free!

“This has to change. Businesses should not receive tax breaks for radical leftist activism, especially when that activism jeopardizes our children. Our tax code should encourage family formation and promote a culture of life. Instead, it too often encourages subsidies for the murder of unborn babies and the performance of horrific ‘medical’ treatments on kids,” he said.

The United States left approximately $7 billion worth of military equipment in Afghanistan during the tumultuous withdrawal last August, according to a congressionally mandated report from the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pentagon report claimed that the U.S. left behind aircraft, air-to-ground munitions, military vehicles, and communications equipment.

“The U.S. gave a total of $18.6 billion of equipment to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) from 2005 to August 2021,” according to CNN, which added, “Of that total, equipment worth $7.12 billion remained in Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal was completed on August 30, 2021.”

The abrupt and shambolic Afghanistan withdrawal reportedly left 78 aircraft valued at $923.3 million at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. The deserted aircraft were demilitarized and rendered inoperable before the U.S. military withdrew from the Taliban-controlled country, according to the report.

Also left in Afghanistan were more than 40,000 military vehicles, including 12,000 military Humvees, the report states. The DoD stated that the operational condition of the vehicles is “unknown.”

The Pentagon report – which was published in March – noted that 9,524 air-to-ground munitions worth $6.54 million were left in Afghanistan.

The Taliban could have access to over 300,000 weapons that the U.S. left in Afghanistan, as well as more than 1.5 million pieces of ammunition worth $48 million, according to the report.

The report claimed that “nearly all” of the communications equipment that the U.S. gave to Afghan forces remained in the country at the time of the withdrawal as the Taliban took over the country.

There are allegedly nearly 42,000 pieces of specialized equipment such as night vision and surveillance systems that remained in Afghanistan at the conclusion of the chaotic and deadly U.S. military withdrawal.

The U.S. military was able to transfer over 15 million rounds of Ball rifle ammunition, more than 99,000 40mm high-explosive/fragmentation grenade cartridges, and approximately 119,000 82mm high-explosive mortar rounds to Ukraine, according to the report. The U.S. also reportedly relocated five Mi-17 helicopters to Ukraine from Afghanistan.

“Much” of the remaining military hardware deserted in Afghanistan reportedly requires “specialized maintenance that DoD contractors previously provided” to Afghan forces “in the form of technical knowledge and support.”

The Pentagon proclaimed in the report that there is no plan to “retrieve or destroy” the military equipment.