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Updated by The Road We've Shared on May 29, 2017
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Supporting Healthy Romantic Relationships

Resources for parents and caregivers who want to support their loved one with intellectual disabilities to have healthy, safe, and fulfilling romantic/sexual relationships.

Dating last taboo in intellectual disabilities debate

Laws intended to prevent sexual abuse can often hinder pursuit of normal relationships. CHARLOTTE, Tenn. - Cheek to cheek, they danced so slowly their feet barely lifted from the floor, the cover band playing When You Say Nothing at All.

Healthy Relationships, Sexuality and Disability

Welcome to the Healthy Relationships, Sexuality and Disability Resource Guide! We are happy to share these helpful sexuality education resources with you. Young people living with disabilities (and their families and health care providers) helped create this guide. It lists their favorite sources of information about growing up healthy and safe.

Impact Newsletter: Becoming a Woman: Teaching Healthy Sexuality to My Daughter

by Terri Couwenhoven I think one of the most important things related to helping my daughter grow into a sexually healthy adult has been figuring out how to help her feel good about who she is as a human being. This sounds easy, but really is and was quite challenging for us.

Sexuality Education: Building on the Foundation of Healthy Attitudes

by Terri Couwenhoven, MS
The first installment of this two-part series explained the importance of parents as primary sexuality educators. When sexuality concepts are taught early, they provide a foundation for helping your child move toward a sexually healthy adulthood. The article included strategies for parents, as teachers, to introduce key concepts over time. As our children with Down syndrome grow and develop, it is important to continue reinforcing earlier learning, while adding new information and concepts.

The Arc | People with Intellectual Disability & Sexual Offenses

By Leigh Ann Davis, M.S.S.W., M.P.A. Are people with intellectual disability more likely to be charged with committing sexual offenses? There is not enough research to determine the answer to this question. These individuals may be more likely to be charged with committing a crime compared to those without a disability whenever illegal sexual behavior is reported.

Review of the literature prepared for the National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability to inform its project on services for adults with an intellectual disability. June 2003

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PubMed

PubMed

INTRODUCTION: Adults with intellectual disabilities (IDs) are known to be very vulnerable to sexual abuse. This may result partly from their lack of sexual knowledge and their powerless position in society. It could also be exacerbated by an ignorance of the law. This study investigates their understanding of the law relating to sexuality.

Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality (Topics in Down Syndrome)

Parents of children with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities are accustomed to paying close attention to their child's physical, cognitive, and emotional development. This proactive approach should also include their child's sexual development, which for many parents may not seem as obvious or urgent, especially to those with young children.

Drawing on her unique background as both a sexual educator and mother of a child with Down syndrome, the author blends factual information and practical ideas for teaching children with Down syndrome about their bodies, puberty, and sexuality. This book gives parents the confidence to speak comfortably about these sometimes difficult subjects.

The Facts of Life....and More: Sexuality and Intimacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities Paperback – February ...

The Facts of Life....and More: Sexuality and Intimacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities [Leslie Walker-Hirsch "M.Ed. FAAMR", John Allen, John Barisa M.A., Marklyn Champagne "R.N. M.S.W.", Amy Gerowitz, Robert Joseph, Emily Kingsley, Ruth Luckasson J.D., Stuart Lustberg, Sherry Niccolai, Nancy Parello, Shay Platz, Melissa Rennie, Mary White] on Amazon.com.

Making good decisions about sexuality is a critical part of adulthood, but sometimes people with intellectual disabilities don't get the support or education they need to navigate this complex aspect of life.

Professionals will change that with this urgently needed book, which gives social workers, teachers, and direct support professionals the comprehensive information they need to educate people with disabilities about sexuality and help them make the best possible choices across the lifespan.

Sexuality and Developmental Disabilities Workshops

Introducing our new virtual course Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality 101: A Virtual Course to Help Staff Work One-on-One With This Sensitive Topic.  

Feature Issue on Sexuality and People with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities

Published by the Institute on Community
Integration (UCEDD) and the Research
and Training Center on Community Living, College of Education and
Human Development, University of Minnesota � Volume 23 � Number 2 � Spring/Summer 2010