Yup, it happens.
Earlier than most adults expect, too.
The earliest stages of puberty begin around age 9 for girls and 10 or 11 for boys. Hormone activity is changing, and with it can come some changes in hypermobility.
For boys, increased testosterone can increase muscle bulk around joints, making them a bit more stable. It can also make them willing to take more risks to be "cut" or "buff".
For girls, progesterone tends to increase ligament laxity, making joints less stable. This hormone fluctuates, so it may be as unpredictable as those first few menstrual periods.
"The Talk' for both boys and girls needs to include how hormones can affect safety, pain, and the way they use their bodies in sports, performance activities like music and dance. Good equipment and good training can decrease the risks of injury, and an open door to discuss problems of all kinds can lead to solutions that build confidence and independence.
Puberty is complicated, but good information and empathy about the ways that hypermobility can create challenges go a long way to making it through puberty without added drama.
Looking for more information about hypermobility in children?
I wrote 2 books for you!The JointSmart Child: Living and Thriving With Hypermobility Volume Two: The School Years is filled with information to guide parents and new therapists through the years from 6-12. Need to know how to position a child for writing? It is in there. Need to know how to speak with teachers at an IEP meeting to get results? Check. Want to keep that bike or scooter in good shape so they don't get injured? Got it!
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I am a licensed occupational therapist, licensed massage therapist, and certified CBT-i sleep coach in private practice in the NYC area.
I have over 25 years of professional experience in adult and pediatric treatment. It has been a joy to help people of all ages improve their ability to grow and thrive! Occupational therapists are focused on enhancing a client's functioning in everyday life. We are practical healthcare providers, interested in teaching, adapting actions and environments, and building a client's useful skills for living their best life, regardless of their challenges.
I am the author of five books, including "Staying In The Room: Managing Medical And Dental Care When You Have DID" and "The Practical Guide To Toilet Training the Autistic Child". I lecture on many subjects, including sleep, trauma, and development. Contact me to learn more about how I can help you achieve YOUR goals!