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SheThinx Period Panties and Autism

NOTE: This post is brought to you by the letter R for reality. 

By Kim Rossi

As most of you know, I have three daughters with autism. They are 22, 21 and 17 years old. One of the first questions I get when I speak to parents of young girls on the spectrum is, "How on earth will I manage her period? She has sensory issues!"   We had smooth sailing for a long time.  Each girl would wear a pad. PMS is a challenge of course.  But we managed pretty well until... we didn't. One of my girls suddenly refused to wear a pad.  "NO DIAPER."  For months I begged, cajoled, followed her around saying (OK, sometimes yelling) "NO PAD NO iPAD!" She didn't care. She was NOT going to wear a pad. As you can imagine the result was a disaster. And I was seeing red. Ruined bedsheets. Laundry galore. Going out of the house a problem. Someone recommended the pill or the IUD that stops the menses. Not for us. Someone recommended tampons - not an option as teaching her privacy has meant telling her nothing goes inside of her. And she needs help with changing a pad so I wasn't going to have staff assisting her with such an intimate job.

I read about period panties, but I thought they were like Depends. Papery... diapers. Then I read a review of a product called THINX period panties. Desperate, I ordered 3 pair. Homepage__panties



THINX panties are a beautiful, soft nylon with a comfortable waistband.  (And there is a new organic cotton option.) They look like nice underwear. I slipped a pair on my daughter before she got her period. She was none the wiser! I ordered the black hip hugger style so she would not see any blood when the time came. 

The time came.

Day 1. She wore a pair for 4 hours.


Day 2 She wore a pair for 6 hours


When she removes them, I rinse thoroughly (yes, that part is icky, it takes a good 5 minutes of running water) then I wash them and air dry them on a large fan. No tumble dryer.

She THINX period panties have made each month so much easier for HER most of all - NO DIAPER!  And for me too.   And for staff who works with her. She no longer feels upset on top of having cramps. I know she's happier each month.

Try them.  I wrote a comment on their Facebook page and got hundreds of replies. Tweet the company as I have and tell them that they have made a difference in the autism community.  

Maybe we can start a Light It Up Red month? 

Kim Rossi is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.




I am so sorry you went through this, Kim, but how wonderful that there is a solution out there. I am going to share your article with someone who is working with her daughter regarding this issue right now. So far, I think she is wearing the pads, but you never know what will happen in the future, as you already found out! It is always good to have a backup plan.

Jeannette Bishop

Thanks for tip! This sounds like a product we may find beneficial.

Gary Ogden

Hera: I agree. Lots of fruits and vegetables in the diet is a good idea, but I think a raw vegan diet over the long term is dangerous. Some vegetables, such as many leafy greens, should be cooked to reduce anti-nutrients (kale and spinach certainly), and a diet such as this is bound to reduce the variety of gut microbes which are crucial to overall health. Cooking also increases the bio-availability of nutrients in many vegetables. Teresa would know more about the effects of dietary choices on the gut micro-biome than I. Kim, the subject is completely out of my jurisdiction, but you always impress! Not Mother Theresa, but damn good.


Congratulations, and thank you for posting this handy hygiene solution for the autism parent network. How gratifying that one item of clothing can reduce so much other laundry and cleaning.

Teresa Conrick

I am getting them! So great you wrote about this as it is such a big issue for so many!!


Here's a site on lack of periods and eating disorders that may be of interest.


Kim, Wow. Challenges I never even thought about with having girls. A huge issue. And I thought bed wetting was hard.. So glad you found a solution.Those undies look great as an option. I wonder if they would work for mild incontinence too.
Sun -Rose,
I knew a family in the sixties that had a predominantly fruit and vegetable diet, with nuts etc. The kids all grew up to be under sized ( not a genetic issue, so it seemed a diet issue).One was less than five feet. Perhaps from not enough protien ( despite the nuts) or maybe not enough carbs?
Some have suggested that the absence of periods is one of the beginning signs of starvation. People with anorexia will lose their periods too.
Just a different point of view to consider before someone goes all out for a major diet change.


That is wonderful that You found such a solution. What a relief!

While this may not be a viable solution for your family, I'll mention it anyway as perhaps it will be useful for someone. : On a raw vegan diet (lots of fruits and vegetables, etc.), little or no period! What a delight! No bad moods either.

We also found a big improvement in thinking, as well.

with Love,


You are my hero, Kim. I am pretty sure I would have broke , by now.

Maurine Meleck

You Rock. Love you. Period.

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