boy in wheelchair and children ready to read puberty books on disability

The best puberty books for kids with a disability

This list of disability puberty books has been compiled for the parents who reach out to me, looking for books about puberty that are suitable for their child with a disability. Sex education in the field of disability is a specialisation. It is not my area of expertise, so I have reached out to some peers who work in this area. And these are the disability puberty books that they recommend, based on their own experiences and on parent feedback.

You can find more books about different topics in the main list of Sex Education Books for Children.

You’ll find more information about puberty in my Puberty 101 page.

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You may also find other affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

NOTE: Before passing any book to your child or reading the book with your child, you should read it yourself first. I might think it is a great book for a certain age child or that the information is valuable, but you may disagree. You need to choose books that reflect your values and the messages you want your child to receive.


screenshots from SECCA app

The SECCA App is a free innovative resource to support access to relationships and sexuality education for people of all ages and abilities. It can be used by parents to start teaching their child about a wide range of topics pertaining to love, sex, relationships and growing up. You can access the SECCA App here.

Special Boys & Special Girls Business

by Heather Anderson, Fay Angelo and Rose Stewart

covers of special boys and special girls business

Special Boys’ Business supports boys, their parents and carers through the changes experienced at puberty. Information is presented simply, with clear pictures and limited text. You can buy a copy of this book from Book Depository or Booktopia.

Puberty and Special Girls provides practical information about growing up and will help girls understand the changes they will experience at puberty. It is easy to understand, includes excellent illustrations and offers age-appropriate information in a friendly and inclusive manner. You can buy a copy of this book from Book Depository or Booktopia.

The Ellie and Tom Series

by Kate E. Reynolds

What’s happening to Ellie? A book about puberty for girls and young women with autism and related conditions
Ellie notices that her body is changing. Hair is growing in new places and there are other changes happening too. Ellie’s mum helps her understand that she has started growing into a woman. Following Ellie as she begins to notice changes to her body, this simple resource helps parents and carers teach girls with autism and related conditions about puberty. It covers all the changes that they will experience, both emotional such as new feelings and physical such as periods. This fully illustrated positive and entertaining book provides the perfect opportunity to talk about puberty with girls and young women with autism or related conditions.

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon or Book Depository.

The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes in the Tween & Teen Years

by Terri Cowenhoven

The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up gives boys with intellectual disabilities the facts they need to navigate puberty. Written at a third-grade reading level for boys aged 9-16 with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, fragile X, or other special needs, this book is the companion to The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up (2011), also by Terri Cowenhoven. The author, a certified sexuality educator, draws on more than 20 years experience conducting workshops on puberty and sexuality issues with boys, girls, families, and professionals. The book’s succinct text, realistic illustrations, and learning activities enable boys to read the book themselves or follow along with the aid of an adult.

Its reassuring, matter-of-fact tone shows boys what changes–inside and out–to expect during puberty, and how to manage them: growth spurts and bigger muscles, voice cracking and deepening, blemishes and oily skin, body and facial hair, moodiness, crushes, flirting, and sexual feelings, erections, wet dreams, and masturbation. The Boys’ Guide to Growing Up gives practical advice on commonplace concerns such as shaving, what to do about zits, and how to smell nice. More complex and essential topics are covered too, such as how to know when flirting is reciprocated (or not!), how to hide or discourage an erection in public, what information is okay to share with others versus what should remain private, and how to stay safe. It’s a must-have book for boys on the brink of puberty, teens who are in the midst of it, and the adults who care for them.

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon or Book Depository.

The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes in the Tween Years

by Terri Cowenhoven

Girls’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes in the Tween Years
Here’s a book just for girls beginning a new phase of their lives! This appealing and easy-to-follow guide for girls with intellectual disabilities is an introduction to the physical and emotional changes they’ll encounter during puberty. Written on a third-grade reading level for preteens or young teenaged girls to read by themselves or with a parent, it’s filled with age-appropriate facts, illustrations and photos, icons, and a Q&A.

The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up advises girls about their changing bodies, privacy issues, and how to feel their best, including: what is puberty, outside changes (height & shape, breasts & bras, body hair, skin & blemishes, body odor & deodorant), inside changes (moodiness & handling your feelings, sexual feelings & what to do about them, flirting do’s & don’t’s), periods (what to expect, using a pad), hygiene (keeping face & body clean, showering), privacy, safety & social appropriateness (private parts, rules for who can touch you & when, rules for touching others, what to do if you feel unsafe). 

The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up is written by an experienced sex educator who specializes in working with people with intellectual disabilities. Parents, physicians, schools, and support groups will want to share this encouraging book with girls to help answer their questions about puberty and reassure them it’s all part of growing up.

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon or Book Depository.

Boyfriends & Girlfriends : A Guide to Dating for People with Disabilities

by Terri Cowenhoven

Boyfriends & Girlfriends explains the dos and don’ts of dating for teens and adults with disabilities and validates their normal, age-appropriate desire for companionship and romance. The book covers the biggest questions and smallest concerns of every would-be dater, including: who is an appropriate dating partner & who is not, how to read signals & judge whether the interest is mutual, how to ask someone out on a date, how to turn down a date, how to handle rejection, what sexual feelings are, how to work through problems in a relationship, what to do when a relationship is not working.

Written and illustrated for a hi/lo reader, Boyfriends & Girlfriends is perfect for anyone who is already in a relationship, ready to start one, or still only dreaming about it. The guide is also an informative read for parents, counselors, and other support providers.

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon or Book Depository.

Teaching Children with Down Syndrome About Their Bodies, Boundaries & Sexuality: A Guide for Parents & Professionals

by Terri Cowenhoven

Drawing on her unique background as both a sexual educator and mother of a child with Down syndrome, author Terri Couwenhoven blends factual information and practical ideas for teaching children with Down syndrome about their bodies, puberty, and sexuality. This book gives parents the confidence to speak comfortably about these sometimes difficult subjects. It also explains why it’s so important to begin early in the life of a child to deal with issues such as hygiene, emotional and physical boundaries, privacy, and what makes for healthy relationships. In a friendly conversational style, the author covers relevant issues and concerns for children of all ages, such as:

  • Labeling & explaining private body parts
  • Identifying & expressing emotions
  • Respecting personal space
  • Teaching self-care & hygiene
  • Understanding norms of privacy
  • Understanding gender identity
  • Showing appropriate levels of affection

She also covers later issues that affect teenagers and young adults, including:

  • Anticipating and understanding puberty
  • Dealing with periods, bras for girls
  • Experiencing erections, wet dreams for boys
  • Relating to the opposite sex
  • Sharing parental values about sexuality
  • Explaining sexual relationships
  • Preventing sexual abuse
  • Understanding how Down syndrome affects puberty & fertility rates

You can buy a copy of this book from Amazon or Book Depository.

Other cheap resources

Teachers Pay Teachers has some wonderful teaching eResources at low prices, that would be easy for parents to use.

The United Kingdom site TES also has eResources that you can print and download at low prices.

You can find other resources to complement these disability puberty books in the Sex Education resources list.

These are some of the many sex education books for teens and teenagers that have been written. As I find more, I will add them to this list. They are all really good books that kids can read to find reliable and accurate information about love, sex and relationships.

Happy reading!

Resources to help with talking about sex

My mission is to create resources that will help you to naturally talk to your kids about sex, all while respecting your personal values.

Which means that inside this website, you’ll find lots of resources to help you with talking to your child about love, sex, relationships and growing up.

My Sex Education 101 page includes all of the information on sex education. You’ll find lots of different blog posts to help with getting started, on a wide range of different topics – bodies, consent, diversity, porn, sexual intercourse and more.

You’ll find videos about sex ed in my Sex Education Videos resource page that you can watch with your child or to learn more about sex education yourself.

You’ll also find an extensive range of sex education books for children, for kids of all ages. There are even some books in there for parents!

If you’re looking for some ideas on how to talk to your child about bodies, How to Talk to Kids About Bodies, will help you to start naming the private body parts and to have shame-free conversations with them about bodies. It is filled with lots of different ideas on how to have natural conversations with your child about their body. 

You’ll also find some child-friendly anatomically-correct cartoon illustrations of the genitals and internal reproductive organs that are appropriate for children from the age of 3 and up. Let’s Look at Different Body Parts is a printable that will help take the awkward out of talking to your child about their body, so they grow up feeling educated, confident, and comfortable in their own skin.

Or if you’re looking for an activity that you can sit down and complete with your child, then you may want to look at my anatomically-correct paperdolls. They are perfect for starting natural conversations whilst your hands are busy.

If you need some help with explaining sexual intercourse to your child, then How to Talk to Kids About Sex, will help you explain sex to your child in a way they will understand. It breaks sex down into simple steps that take the stress out of explaining!

If you’re unsure about how to answer your child’s questions about sex, then I have the perfect book for you! The Sex Education Answer Book will give you age-specific answers to the most common questions kid’s ask parents about sex. Which means you don’t need to worry about finding a child-friendly explanation that your child understands. 

And if you get stuck, feel free to get in touch! You can contact me here.

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