Children with intellectual disabilities can often be talked into dangerous situations. They may be targets because they do not understand the dangers. They just want to be someone’s friend. Many times, children with disabilities are taken advantage of. They may even be sexually abused due to their lack of understanding.
Many parents don’t know how to talk to their children about sex and the feelings they are having. Children with intellectual disabilities may be younger emotionally than they are chronologically. But they continue to develop, have hormonal changes, and sexual feelings throughout their lives.
Kids with disabilities need to understand how their bodies work and how to stay safe. They have romantic and sexual feelings just like everyone else. This is an important issue for all parents of kids with disabilities to address.
Sex education needs to be taught in a way that makes sense to each child. We must teach our children about these feelings so that they understand how to deal with them and stay safe.
Feeling a little awkward, uncertain where to start, or how much to say? You’re not alone. Try Sexuality Education for Students with Disabilities from the Center for Parent Information and Resources.
Want more? Just search “sex education curriculum for children with disabilities” online and you’ll have countless resources.
Listed below are a few more resources I hope you find helpful. Any of the books included below can be purchased online or at most bookstores. When available, the link to the author’s website is included.
Teaching kids how to stay safe, sexually and otherwise, is different for each child. Parents know when the time is right to begin the conversation with their kids and the best way to talk about it. Don’t shy away from this sometimes uncomfortable subject. Use the resources included here to help educate yourself about the best way to teach your child about staying safe.
For additional information, check out the page on this website on Puberty and Sexuality.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.