Sexuality Training for Families, Providers and Supports of Teens and Adults with Developmental Disabilities

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  • Myth 3: If people with disabilities are neither asexual nor child-like then they must be oversexed and have uncontrollable urges These perspectives remove consequences from an individual’s actions excluding that person from a chance to learn more appropriate sexual behavior Reality is that growth into adulthood combines a physically maturing body and a range of sexual and social needs and feelings
  • Fostering development of social skills, parents and educators can provide opportunities to learn about the social contexts of sexuality and the responsibilities of exploring and experiencing ones own sexuality

Transcript

  • 1. HUMAN SEXUALITY EDUCATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES And Those That Work With Them 1
  • 2. DISABILITIES AMONG ADULTS AGES 18-35 • Population 16 to 64.............. 178,687,234 • With any disability .................. 33,153,211 • Sensory...................................... 4,123,902 • Physical.................................... 11,150,365 • Mental . . . ................................ 6,764,439 • Self-care . . ............................... 3,149,875 Individuals with Disabilities (Physical, Intellectual) is the largest minority group in the United States. 2
  • 3. DISABILITY & SEXUALITY: CASE STUDIES • How much detail must I tell her? Won’t she just get confused? • Is it really necessary to broach the subject of intercourse since Johnnie is simply not capable of a close relationship, let alone a sexual encounter. Besides, he’ll be accompanied all his life by a support worker, so what chance is there that he will have sex? • Ronda is non verbal—how can I possibly teach her information related to relationships, and what is the chance that she would even understand it? • Joey has a severe developmental disability and will be child-like for the rest of his life. He won’t need that type of information. • Bobbie is still young, there is lots of time to think about teaching him this type of information in five years or even later. What has "sex" or "sexuality" got to do with him now?
  • 4. FACT OR FICTION ABOUT SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY • People with disabilities do not feel the desire to have sex (if disabled in one way disabled in every way) • People with developmental and physical disabilities are asexual, childlike, sexually innocent (do not possess maturity to learn about sexuality) • People with disabilities are sexually impulsive (oversexed and unable to control their sexual urges) men aggressive & women promiscuous • People with disabilities will not marry or have children so they have no need to learn about sexuality 4
  • 5. FACT OR FICTION ABOUT SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY • Myth 1: People with disabilities ar not sexual • All people are sexual beings needing affection, love, and intimacy, acceptance and companionship • Individuals with disabilities may have some unique needs related to sex education • Individuals with developmental disabilities may learn at a slower rate than peers yet physical maturation usually occurs at the same rate • Need sex education that builds skills for appropriate language and behavior in public • Paraplegic individual may need reassurance that they can have satisfying sexual relationships and practical guidance on how to do so 5
  • 6. FACT OR FICTION ABOUT SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY • Myth 2: People with disabilities are childlike and dependent • Idea stems from belief that person with a disability is unable to participate equally in an intimate relationship • If viewed as child-like, or asexual, sexually offensive behavior likely to be denied or minimized • societal discomfort with disability and sexuality makes it easier to view anyone with a disability as an eternal child • this view denies person’s sexuality and full humanity 6
  • 7. FACT OR FICTION ABOUT SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY • Myth 3: People with disabilities can not control their sexuality • If people with disabilities are neither asexual nor child-like then they are oversexed and have uncontrollable urges. • Belief in this myth can result in reluctance to provide sex education as any offending behavior is seen as uncrontrollable • education and training are the key to promoting healthy and mutually respectful behavior, regardless of disability 7
  • 8. FACT OR FICTION ABOUT SEXUALITY AND DISABILITY • All of these myths remove consequences from an individual’s actions, excluding them from a chance to learn more appropriate sexual behavior • Sexuality important part of everyone’s life from infancy. • Growth into adulthood combines a physically maturing body and a range of sexual and social needs and feelings • Adults with developmental delays are different from children in appearance, past life events and available life choices • We must guard against making inaccurate assumptions by avoiding misinformation and a restrictive attitude towards sexuality of people with disabilities
  • 9. THE POLITICS OF EDUCATION • 1975 P.L. 94-142 Education of All Handicapped Children Act • Guaranteed a free, appropriate public education to each child with a disability in every state across the country • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004) • Students with disabilities have the same educational opportunities to the maximum extent possible as their non- disabled peers • IEP include transition plans identifying appropriate employment and other adult living objectives, referring student to appropriate community agencies and resources (must begin at age 14) • Attitudes of people with disabilities has not changes as fast as the laws enacted to support them – especially in sexuality and disability 9
  • 10. SOCIALIZATION • Important goals of any human sexuality education program include promoting a positive self-image as well as developing competence and confidence in social abilities • Individuals with disabilities have: • Fewer opportunities than their peers to observe, develop and engage in appropriate social and sexual behavior • Fewer opportunities to acquire information from peers • Often held back by social isolation as well as functional limitations • By fostering development of social skills, families and educators can provide opportunities to learn about the social contexts of sexuality and the responsibilities of exploring and experiencing ones own sexuality. 10
  • 11. SOCIALIZATION • Literature recommends: • Helping develop hobbies and pursue interests or recreational activities in the community • Individuals with disabilities should engage in social opportunities and to grow and learn from social errors • Extra-curricular activities present opportunities for friendship based on commonality of interests and provide opportunities to develop competence and self-esteem
  • 12. WHAT IS SEXUALITY? • According to the Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS): Human sexuality encompasses the • Sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of individuals. • Anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system • Roles, identity, and personality; with individual thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and relationships. • Ethical, spiritual, and moral concerns, • Group and cultural variations.
  • 13. WHAT IS SEXUALITY • Having a physical sexual relationship (biological/physical) • Physical sensations or drives our bodies experience • Genital activity is one small part of human sexuality • Social phenomenon (sociological) • Friendship • Warmth • Approval • Affection • Social outlets • Spiritual • Hygiene • dress • What we feel about ourselves (psycological) • Whether we like ourselves • Our understanding of ourselves as men and women (gender identification) • What we feel we have to share with others 13
  • 14. WHAT IS SEXUALITY EDUCATION • Comprehensive sexuality education takes into consideration • The cognitive domain • facts and data • The affective domain • feelings, values, and attitudes • The skills domain • Ability to communicate effectively and to make responsible decisions 14
  • 15. SEXUALITY EDUCATORS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES • Families of individuals with developmental disabilities tend to be uncertain about the appropriate management of their loved one’s sexual development • An individuals may not have lived in the family home and may have relied on institutionalized treatment of sexuality. • Both Can be Concerned about • Overt signs of sexuality • Physical development during puberty • Genital hygiene • Fears of unwanted pregnancy • STI’s • Embarrassing or hurtful situations • Fear that their child will be unable to express sexual impulses appropriately • Targets of sexual abuse or exploitation 15
  • 16. SEXUALITY EDUCATORS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES • Problems most frequently mentioned regarding sexuality education are: • Inability to answer questions • Uncertain of what the disabled individual knows or should know • Confusion, anxiety and ambivalent attitudes toward sexuality of disabled individuals • Equate learning with intentions to perform sexual activities 16
  • 17. FAMILIES AS THE FIRST SEXUALITY EDUCATORS FOR THEIR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES • Families need to help their child develop life skills, this has become more evident as the generation of individuals that received Early Interventions demonstrates the importance of life skills, and the ability to work, receive an education, etc. • Without appropriate social skills disabled individuals may have difficulty making and keeping friends and may feel lonely and different. • Without important sexual health knowledge, disabled individuals may make unwise decisions and or take sexual health risks. 17
  • 18. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR FAMILIES & PROFESSIONALS • Regardless of disability, people have feelings, sexual desire, and a need for intimacy and closeness • To behave in a sexually responsible manner, each needs skills, knowledge, and support • Don’t expect that they know or don’t know the basics • Always ensure the individuals confidentiality in asking questions • Be sure that you know the correct terminology, be willing to look up answers if you don’t know • Learn as much about the disabilities as possible • Before starting a conversation, make sure you know your own values and beliefs 18
  • 19. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR PROFESSIONALS • Be ready to assert your personal privacy boundaries • Know your personal privacy boundaries • Use accurate language for body parts and bodily functions. • Individuals with accurate language are more likely to report abuse if it occurs • Identify times to talk and communication strategies that work best • Avoid times and strategies that do not work well for you or the individual given the situation • If you are uncomfortable, the individual will be uncomfortable, seek support from managers, administrator, etc. when you need it 19
  • 20. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR FAMILIES & PROFESSIONAL • Be clear when discussing relationships (mother father vs, Paul and Carol) • Use teachable moments that arise in daily life (e.g., friends pregnancy, marriage, adoption) • Be honest when asked questions • Always acknowledge and value the individual’s feelings and experience • Be willing to repeat information over time – don’t expect the individual to remember everything you said 20
  • 21. TEACHING STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES • For individuals with learning disabilities & mental retardation consider: • Pacing of lessons • Reading level and ability • If reading level of materials is out of reach, limits access to quality printed materials and resources. • Small blocks of content presented at a time • Simple and concrete terms • Special materials • More time and repetition
  • 22. TEACHING STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES • Role play, modeling, play acting and interactive exercises, use concrete teaching strategies • Phone etiquette, initiating conversation, inviting a friend for a meal • Be creative, develop specialized teaching tools and resources (models, dolls, pictures, personal stories) • Pictures of family and friends can be a springboard for talking about relationships and social interactions • Multisensory activities • Illustrations, anatomical models, slides, photos, audio-visual, interactive games (e.g., full body drawing or chart to show where body parts are and what they do) • Use photos, pictures or other visual materials as often as possible as well as the library, other parents, websites, educators and health care providers as resources • Showing family pictures may help the individual understand different types of families and relationships • Repetition, practice, frequent review, feedback & praise 22
  • 23. TEACHING STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES• Bloom’s Taxonomy • Divides educational objectives into three domains: • Affective • Psychomotor • Cognitive • Within each domain are different levels of learning, higher levels more complex and closer to mastery of material
  • 24. BLOOM’S TAXONOMY • Example: Cognitive domain • Organized in sequence from basic factual recall to higher order thinking with key words that describe each behavior • Knowledge: list, tell, identify, show, label and name • Comprehension: distinguish, estimate, explain, generalize, give examples, summarize • Application: apply, find, perform, demonstrate, dramatize • Analysis: criticize, debate, distinguish, compare, • Synthesis: plan, set up, design, arrange • Evaluation: judge, score, approve, appraise
  • 25. POLICY STATEMENTS ON SEXUALITY EDUCATION FOR PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY • Policy development project for programs • Evolved from need for guidelines to formulate consistent responses to behavioral issues • Public masturbatory behavior • Individual engaged in self-stimulating behavior such as touch his/her genitals, rubbing against an object, rubbing him/herself against the floor in a public part of a building (classroom, lunchroom) • Unacceptable touching of others • Couples engaging in intimate behavior in public places • In the absence of a policy different staff members would respond to incidents haphazardly and counter productively • Consistency of response is an essential component to alter maladaptive behavior 25
  • 26. POLICY STATEMENTS ON SEXUALITY EDUCATION FOR PERSONS WITH A DISABILITY • Identify policy issues that need to be addressed • Definition of sexuality • Philosophy about normative sexual development • Inappropriate self-touch • Menstruation • Toileting skills • Allowable sexual expression • Sexual orientation • Sexual exploitation • STI’s and HIV/AIDS infection • Public and private places • Inappropriate dress for work 26
  • 27. APPLY YOUR UNDERSTANDING • Develop a lesson plan on a sexuality education topic discussed in class. • Bring these lessons and any props you develop to next meeting • Be prepared to present and/or model your lesson for a small group of your peers.