What is appropriate dating for early teens
While there are standard ranges of pubertal initiation in children, the age at which children begin to articulate their experience of gender dysphoria or assert a gender identity that is distinct from their assigned sex at birth is highly variable.
Providers of transgender youth care should be skilled at meeting the needs of young people presenting for care at any stage in their process.
Children as young as 18 months old have articulated information about their gender identity and gender expression preferences.
Most parents are at a loss as to how to best help their child, and may seek the advice of a professional; commonly a psychiatrist or pediatrician.
For some children this may include a social transition - changing of external appearance (clothing, hairstyle) and possibly name and pronouns to match one's internal gender.
While there still exists uncertainty as to which GNC children will continue into adolescence and adulthood with transgender identities and/or gender dysphoria and which will not, it is been noted in prior studies that increased intensity of gender dysphoria is a predictor of a future transgender identity.
It is not uncommon for providers, parents, friends and family members to struggle with gender-neutral pronouns, and inadvertently invalidate nonbinary identities.
General pediatricians, specialists in adolescent medicine, family medicine, medicine/pediatrics, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and others are all potentially qualified to provide high quality care for transgender youth.
Unfortunately, because so few mental health providers are experienced in the care of TGNC youth, inaccurate recommendations are not uncommon.
Mental health support should not be sought in order to convince TGNC youth into accepting a gender identity that aligns with their assigned sex at birth, but rather, to provide a safe and welcoming space for young people to discuss and explore their gender, and any mental health challenges that may exist.
Requiring participation in therapy in order to access medical care related to physical gender transition is neither successful, nor does it promote honest communication between young people and therapists.
Therapy should be strongly recommended, and discussed routinely with youth, though due to an ongoing lack of skilled gender mental health professionals it is not always feasible, financially or geographically, for TGNC youth or families to access this resource.