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Today, due to the work of advocates and people with disabilities over the past half-century, American society is acknowledging that people with disabilities have the same rights as other citizens to contribute to and benefit from our society. Each year hundreds of families and professionals contact NICHCY with questions about the social-sexual development of children with disabilities and how to contribute positively to the growth of their children in this area.
The natural course of human development means that, at some point in time, children will assume responsibility for their own lives, including their bodies. For many reasons, some personal and some societal, parents often find sexuality a difficult subject to approach. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about the sexuality of children with disabilities. One of the primary misconceptions that society holds about human sexuality is that it means the drive to have sexual intercourse. An understanding of sexuality begins with looking at how the social and sexual self develops.
From the time we are born, we are sexual beings, deriving enormous satisfaction from our own bodies and from our interactions with others, particularly the warm embraces of our mother and father. The lessons learned during the toddler stage are also important to healthy social-sexual development. We form many of our ideas about life, affection, and relationships from our early observations. In the preschool and early school years, most children become less absorbed with self-exploration but maintain their curiosity about how things happen. During this time period, children are also consolidating ideas about gender and gender roles, or what it means to be a male or a female.
In the early school years, the curiosity and explorations of early childhood give way for many children to a period in which interest in the other gender may lessen in favor of new interests and relationships. With puberty, which starts between the ages of 9 and 13, children begin to undergo great physical change brought about by changes in hormonal balance (Dacey, 1986). Adolescence follows puberty and often brings with it conflicts between children and parents or caregivers. Both parents and adolescents may experience the strain of this period in physical and emotional development. All of the above statements regarding development apply to most children, regardless of whether they have a disability or not. This approach to providing sexuality education clearly addresses the many facets of human sexuality. When one considers the list above, it becomes clear that a great deal of information about sexuality, relationships, and the self needs to be communicated to children and youth.
Providing comprehensive sexuality education to children and youth with disabilities is particularly important and challenging due to their unique needs. The books, journal articles, and videos listed throughout this NEWS DIGEST represent only some of the materials available.
In order to build gratifying human relationships, it is vital that children with disabilities learn and have the opportunity to practice the social skills considered appropriate by society. As most children grow older, they interact more and more with people in situations where direct supervision by parents is not possible. Families and caregivers can help children and youth with disabilities widen their social circle in a number of ways. Beyond developing basic interpersonal skills, there are two types of social mistakes that many individuals with disabilities will need special help to avoid. Most individuals with disabilities can learn fairly early in life how to avoid private-public errors as well. You can teach the distinction between public and private most effectively through modelling, explanation, and persistence. Well, you have just read the first of the three sections on Sex Education for those with Disabilities.
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Yes, we ship internationally!Place your order on-line and we will contact you via e-mail with your exact shipping charges. This NEWS DIGEST has been developed to address the concerns that parents and professionals face in informing and guiding children and youth adults with disabilities in their social-sexual development and in preparing them to make healthy, responsible decisions about adult relationships. As the above quotes from parents show, parents face this inescapable fact with powerful and often conflicting emotions: pride, alarm, nostalgia, disquiet, outright trepidation, and the bittersweetness of realizing their child soon will not be a child anymore. Discussing sexuality with one’s child may make parents uncomfortable, regardless of whether their child has a disability or not, and regardless of their own culture, educational background, religious affiliation, beliefs, or life experiences.
The most common myth is that children and youth with disabilities are asexual and consequently do not need education about their sexuality. These two facets of the total self must be examined in conjunction with one another, for sexuality is not something that develops in isolation from other aspects of identity (Edwards & Elkins, 1988). These ideas may last a lifetime, influencing how we view ourselves and interact with others. They may disconcert parents by suddenly and directly asking simple (and not so simple!) questions about sexual matters. They begin to play with their peers now, where previously they played next to them but separately. Between the ages of two and three, most children develop a sure knowledge that they are male or female.
It is not unusual for some children to reject members of the opposite gender during this period, especially when in the presence of members of the same gender. This is because, as humans advance into adolescence, physical changes are often matched by new cognitive abilities and a desire to achieve greater independence from the family unit.
Parents, on the one hand, may feel an intense need to protect their adolescent from engaging in behavior for which he or she is not cognitively or emotionally ready (Tharinger, 1987). It is important to understand that all children follow this developmental pattern, some at a slower and perhaps less intense rate, but all eventually grow up.
It should not just mean providing information about the basic facts of life, reproduction, and sexual intercourse. Sexuality education gives young people the opportunity to question, explore, and assess attitudes, values, and insights about human sexuality. Sexuality education can help young people develop skills in communication, decision-making, assertiveness, peer refusal skills, and the ability to create satisfying relationships. Providing sexuality education helps young people to develop their concept of responsibility and to exercise that responsibility in sexual relationships. In addition to providing this information, parents and professionals need to allow children and youth opportunities for discussion and observation, as well as to practice important skills such as decision-making, assertiveness, and socializing. These individuals often have fewer opportunities to acquire information from their peers, have fewer chances to observe, develop, and practice appropriate social and sexual behavior, may have a reading level that limits their access to information, may require special materials that explain sexuality in ways they can understand, and may need more time and repetition in order to understand the concepts presented to them. If you are interested in obtaining a resource listed in this document, first check with your local library. This article addresses some of the issues involved in teaching children with disabilities to conduct themselves in ways that allow them to develop relationships with other people.

These skills are developed across years of observation, discussion, practice, and constructive feedback. Drawing from what they have learned at home about socializing, children make friends within their peer group and soon learn more about socializing, hopefully refining their social skills as they grow and mature. They may have great difficulty building a network of friends and acquaintances with whom to share their feelings, opinions, ideas, and selves. As has been said, the first involves laying the foundations of socializing at home, from early childhood on. Not only are hobbies gratifying in themselves, but shared hobbies or interests bring people together and provide opportunities for friendships to develop. Most schools have special-interest activities or clubs that bring together students with similar interests.
One mother of a teenaged boy with multiple disabilities talked with the high school football coach about how her son could contribute managerially to the team’s activities.
Working after school or on the weekends in the community offers opportunities for social interaction and certainly enhances self-esteem. Although it is natural to want to shield your child from the possibility of failure, hurt feelings, and others’ rejection, you must allow your child the opportunity to grow and stretch socially.
One effective means of teaching children with disabilities to avoid making stranger-friend errors is called the Circles Method of Teaching Social Behavior. The difference between public and private, however, may be a difficult notion for some individuals with disabilities to grasp, particularly those with moderate or severe mental retardation. Forty-four percent of all children ages 8 – 17 reported that doing well in school was a source of worry compared to only 34 percent of parents reporting this as a source of stress for their child. By denying this, parents limit their capacity and opportunity  to soothe, reassure and show them how to tolerate stress. Because of the complex nature of the subject matter, this NEWS DIGEST has been organized in a different way from other issues. Indisputably, the role that parents play in their child s social-sexual development is a unique and crucial one.
For many of us, the word sexuality conjures up so many thoughts, both good (joy, family, warmth, pleasure, love) and fearful (sexually transmitted diseases, exploitation, unwanted pregnancies).
The truth is that all children are social and sexual beings from the day they are born (Sugar, 1990). Indeed, much of what is appropriate sexual behavior is appropriate social behavior and involves learning to behave in socially acceptable ways.
The uninhibited pleasure that toddlers derive from exploring their own bodies is sometimes regarded with humor and at other times with embarrassment.
Because children are great imitators of the behaviors they observe, the environment of the home forms the foundation for their reactions and expectations in social situations. They are also fascinated to discover that the bodies of opposite-gender playmates are different from their own, and may investigate this fact through staring, touching, or asking questions. They also begin to test themselves in the social environment: They hit, take toys, and commit other anti-social acts. By age five, most are well on their way to understanding the kinds of behaviors and attitudes that go with being female or male in this society (Calderone & Johnson, 1990).
Physical changes are usually accompanied by a heightened sexual drive and some emotional upheaval due to self-consciousness and uncertainty as to what all the changes mean. They may fear that their child will be hurt or that deeply held cultural or religious values will be sacrificed. What goals do parents, caregivers, and professionals have when they teach children and youth about human sexuality? The goals of this exploration are to help young people understand family, religious, and cultural values, develop their own values, increase their self-esteem, develop insights about relationships with members of both genders, and understand their responsibilities to others.
This is achieved by providing information about and helping young people to consider abstinence, resist pressure to become prematurely involved in sexual intercourse, properly use contraception and take other health measures to prevent sexually-related medical problems (such as teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases), and to resist sexual exploitation or abuse. Thus, sexuality education is not achieved in a series of lectures that take place when children are approaching or experiencing puberty. Yet with opportunities to learn about and discuss the many dimensions of human sexuality, young people with disabilities can gain an understanding of the role that sexuality plays in all our lives, the social aspects to human sexuality, and values and attitudes about sexuality and social and sexual behavior. If the library does not have the resource you are seeking, then you may want to contact the publisher. Many will find this more difficult than their peers without disabilities, because of learning or other cognitive disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, or a physical disability that limits their chances to socialize. Some of the most important aspects of socializing that individuals with disabilities may initially have difficulty grasping include turn-taking during conversations, maintaining eye contact, being polite, maintaining attention, repairing misunderstandings, finding a topic that is of mutual interest, and distinguishing social cues (both verbal and nonverbal). These friendships are important for all children to develop, not only because contact, understanding, and sharing with others are basic human needs. These provide healthy outlets for youthful energy, build self-esteem through developing competence, and provide occasions for the young person to interact with peers of the same age. Alex became waterboy for the varsity football team and currently travels to all games with the team. Be available to talk about difficulties your child is having socially and about his or her fears, questions, and feelings. It is well recognized that many people with disabilities have virtually no privacy (Griffiths, Quinsey, & Hingsburger, 1989).
Over a quarter (29 percent) of children ages 13 – 17 reported that they worry about getting into a good college and deciding what to do after high school, when only 5 percent of parents of 13 – 17-year-olds agreed that this was a source of stress for their child. As with all rights, this right brings with it responsibilities, not only for the person with disabilities but also for that individual’s parents and caregivers.
It is intended to serve largely as a resource document, pointing parents and professionals to many of the excellent books and videos on human sexuality that are available.
Through daily words and actions, and through what they don t say or do, parents and caregivers teach children the fundamentals of life: the meaning of love, human contact and interaction, friendship, fear, anger, laughter, kindness, self-assertiveness, and so on. For parents with children who have disabilities, anxieties and misgivings are often heightened. They grow and become adolescents with physically maturing bodies and a host of emerging social and sexual feelings and needs.
Having a physical sexual relationship may be one facet of our sexuality, but it is not the only one or even the most compelling or important.
If these self-exploratory activities are accepted by the adults around them, children have a better basis from which to enjoy their bodies and accept themselves. They make many mistakes, are corrected, and learn necessary lessons about acceptable behavior. They form concepts about gender identity by observing the activities of their parents and other adults, and through what others expect or ask them to do. Before the changes actually begin, it is important that parents talk calmly with their children about what lies ahead.
One is that adolescents may want to dress according to their own tastes, sporting unconventional clothes and hairstyles that may annoy or alarm their parents. On the other side of the equation, youth may be primarily concerned with developing an identity separate from their parents and with experiencing their rapidly developing physical, emotional, and cognitive selves (Dacey, 1986). Sexuality education is a life-long process and should begin as early in a child’s life as possible. They also can learn valuable interpersonal skills and develop an awareness of their own responsibility for their bodies and their actions.

We have listed the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the publishers via a link at the bottom of this document. The presence of a disability may make peers shy away, may make transportation to and from social events difficult, may require special health care, or may make the individual with the disability reluctant to venture out socially. Children and youth with disabilities need to be aware that they may have to be the initiator in forming friendships.
When attempts to build a friendship don’t work out, encourage your child to try again.
A stranger-friend error occurs when the person with a disability treats an acquaintance or a total stranger as if he or she were a dear and trusted friend. Champagne and used in workshops and schools around the country, Circles is a simple but ingenious way to teach and clarify who is okay to hug regularly or infrequently, who you should shake hands with or greet with a hello, and who you should not speak to (Kempton, 1988). Jha, CMD (POWERGRID) inaugurates the commencement of power flow through 1200kV National Test Station (NTS) at BinaI.
Adequately preparing a child for the eventuality of adulthood, with its many choices and responsibilities, is certainly one of the greatest challenges that parents face.
When providing education about the development and expression of sexuality, there is no substitute for the detailed illustrations and discussions that many of these books contain. Considering all that parents teach their children, it is not surprising that parents become their children’s primary educators about values, morals, and sexuality. The tenderness and love babies receive during this period contribute to their ability to trust and to eventually receive and display tenderness and affection. This does not mean that adults around a toddler should refrain from distracting the child from some behaviors in inappropriate situations, or not impress upon him or her that there are appropriate and inappropriate environments for self-exploration. It may help parents to realize that children s curiosity about and exploration of the body are natural evolutions in their learning about the world and themselves.
These interactions and the lessons learned are important to their concept of self within society.
This is a most important time for youth; many are filled with extreme sensitivity, self-consciousness, and feelings of inadequacy regarding their physical and social self.
Another is that adolescents often begin to place great importance on having their own friends and ideas, sometimes purposefully different from what parents desire. Ultimately, all that they learn prepares them to assume the responsibilities of adulthood, living, working, and socializing in personally meaningful ways within the community. A lack of appropriate social skills may also contribute to a person’s social isolation.
Individuals with mental retardation are particularly vulnerable to making these kinds of mistakes — for example, hugging or kissing a stranger who comes to the family home. Each of the sections in this NEWS DIGEST presents an overview of important points to consider when providing sexuality education, then concludes with an extensive list of materials that families and professionals can use to inform themselves more fully. Many people also think that individuals with disabilities will not marry or have children, so they have no need to learn about sexuality.
The amount of humor, conversation, and interaction between various family members also differs from home to home. Strong, emotionally-laden reactions on the part of parents can be damaging to children, in that they can learn to feel guilt or shame about their body parts (Tharinger, 1987).
Indeed, their bodies are changing, sometimes daily, displaying concrete evidence of their femaleness or maleness. Unfortunately, all too often, this important feedback on performance is denied those with disabilities (Duncan & Canty-Lemke, 1986). You may wish to model important social behaviors for your child and then have your child role-play with you or other family members any number of typical friendly interactions. Private-public errors generally involve doing or saying something in public that society considers unacceptable in that context, such as touching one’s genitals or undressing in plain view of others. Jha, CMD (POWERGRID) inaugurated the commencement of power flow through 1200kV National Test Station (NTS) on 18th May 2016 established at Bina, Madhya NBCC REGISTERS A SUBSTANTIAL 32% GROWTH IN TOP LINE DURING FY 2015-16New Delhi: NBCC, the state owned Navratna Enterprise, under the Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. These materials can also be used to facilitate discussion with children and youth about sexuality. Thus, a person’s sexuality cannot be separated from his or her social development, beliefs, attitudes, values, self-concept, and self-esteem.
Answering questions calmly and truthfully, and displaying a certain degree of leniency regarding children’s curiosity will help them develop a positive attitude about their bodies. Then as children grow, messages begin to relate to what type of behavior is appropriate for each gender.
This training can begin at home, with you as the parents playing a vital role in helping your child learn how to socialize. Committing either type of error can put the person with a disability into a vulnerable position in terms of breaking the law or opening the door to sexual exploitation. In this way, families and professionals can address the unique needs of the youth with whom they are working, while also approaching sexuality education in ways that reflect the deeply personal beliefs that they may hold in regards to these matters.
Being accepted and liked, displaying affection and receiving affection, feeling that we are worthwhile individuals, doing what we can to look or feel attractive, having a friend to share our thoughts and experiences these are among the deepest human needs. Children observe and absorb these early lessons about human interaction, and much of their later behaviors and expectations may reflect what they have seen those closest to them say or do. The type of toys children are given for play, the clothes they may wear, the type of activities they are permitted to pursue, and what they see their parents doing send nonverbal messages about gender. Friendships, playmates, games, and activities are important during this period to the continuing development of the sense of self within a social sphere. For others, social isolation plays a key role; how can there be feedback on one’s social skills when little socializing takes place? Edwards and Elkins suggest, for example, that when entertaining, you should not have your child safely tucked into bed before guests arrive. Not only does this allow them to understand the difference between public and private, but it acknowledges their right as individuals to have and enjoy time alone. They need information about values, morals, and the subtleties of friendship, dating, love, and intimacy. Thus, our sexuality extends far beyond the physical sensations or drives that our bodies experience.
This might be greeting people at the door, taking their coats, showing them where the chairs are, or offering them food. They also need to know how to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual exploitation.
It is also what we feel about ourselves, whether we like ourselves, our understanding of ourselves as men and women, and what we feel we have to share with others. Remember, these early interactions lay the foundation for interactions in the future, many of which will take place outside of the home.
Theophylactou calling on the Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting, Shri Arun Jaitley, in New Delhi The Prime Minister of Fiji, Mr. Sreedharan hands over charge as MD, DMRC to Shri Mangu Singh January 02, 2012 GAIL gets Top ICSI National award for Excellence in Corporate Governance January 04, 2012 United States businesses to sign deals worth $27 billion with India over the next two years May 19, 2016INDIA SUCCESFULLY TEST FIRES ITS INDIGENOUSLY DEVELOPED NUCLEAR CAPABLE PRITHVI-II MISSILE May 19, 2016I.

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