For all of us, puberty is one of lifes unavoidable things - a time of confusing, upsetting and exciting new beginnings. But, that experience has been totally different for Emily McAuliffe, who had her first period at just four-years-old.
Emily, now aged five, has been diagnosed with Central Precocious Puberty, which is a condition that means Emily develops far earlier than everyone else.
For her parents, Tam and Matt, it's a heartbreaking revelation. Their daughter hasn't reach primary school yet, but is already the size of an eight-year-old and has even developed breasts.
'What’s heartbreaking is she’s a five-year-old girl, and she just wants to do what other five-year-olds do, but she can't,' Matt said while appearing on The Project on Wednesday night.
'It's hard when you can see that things are tough for her... you just try to make the best of a bad situation.'
'She has missed out on massive parts of her childhood because we can't throw her around, she's 45kg, she's four foot six,' Tam added.
Mum Tam Dover said their daughter has been bullied while at daycare, which makes her fearful of what Emily might face at primary school next year.
'It breaks my heart when she comes up to me and says 'Daddy, am I ugly?',' Matt says.
At about two years old they noticed she had breast buds, body odour and some pubic hair. And so began the first of many specialist medical appointments as the family tried to determine what was causing such rapid development in the little girl.
At four years old, with her first period a clear sign she had hit puberty too soon, she was diagnosed with Central Precocious Puberty and congenital adrenal hyperplasia along with Addison's Disease, which explained her muscle weakness.
Now, the family is undergoing treatment, which involves inducing menopause through hormone replacement therapy via three-monthly injections, which cost $1455 a pop and results in symptoms like chest pains, lethargy, high temperatures, nausea, hot flushes and irritability.
Her parents hope to continue this treatment until she is old enough to experience puberty with her peers.