Monday, June 3, 2013

Special needs children and SEX! How you might do 'it'

So this post is a little off track for what I normally do but I thought that I would try to help.

I was recently asked how to tell your child about the birds and the bee's?  The only catch on this is the one asking me as a child with special needs.  I am not sure how to answer that question for a special needs boy, but I will try my damnedest to try and explain what I did.

So my daughter was 10 when we had the 'talk' and it went ok.......

I sat her down and told her the basics, like ok so you know because of looking at your brother that you have a Ya' Ya' and your brother has a wennie.  So soon you will be having a period and that is where........and I explained what that was and why we have it.  That was the 'talk' that she got when she was 10ish.

When she turned 13 we had a different talk. 

I let her know that masturbation was ok when she was alone.  I told her that sex before marriage was not ok with me or her dad but that she would most likely have it anyways and because I knew that that might happen I wanted her to know all that she can about it.

I told her about all, ALL, of the STD's that she could get and what they do to her body.  I also let her know that some of them will not go away with medicine.  I told her that if she did chose to have pre-marital sex that I wanted her to go and get birth control first.  (you can judge me all you want on that one but I would rather her be safe and not get pregnant than come home one day like I did and be pregnant and not do what all she was meant to do)  

I am by no means an expert I am just a mom.   I have a teenage daughter.  I was once a teenage girl and I know what all goes on in a girls head. 

This part of my blog was copied from the website FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE BLOG.  It is not my writing.  I always give credit where credit is due :)

There is often a lot of anxiety around talking to children with special needs about growing up, relationships and sex. Parents worry their children may be vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. But by teaching your child about sex and relationships you can help keep them safe.

Whether your child has special needs or not, they will still hit puberty and the chances are they will have sexual feelings. Giving them the information they need to understand those feelings and channeling them appropriately is very important.

Sadly, a lot of young people with special needs get negative messages about sex – ‘Don’t do that, it’s not nice!’ ‘Stop touching yourself, that’s bad!’ As your child turns into a young adult, they need sensible information and advice to help them develop positive, healthy attitudes.

19 Tips For Talking About Sexuality & Relationships

Netbuddy - Special Needs ResourcesThe following tips for talking to your child about sexuality and relationships have been contributed to Netbuddy by parents and special needs professionals.  We hope they will give you some ideas for handling this sensitive, but important subject.

1. Public & private

Teach the difference between public & private. This can be body parts, places, clothing, behaviors & communication. If you do this at an early age, your child will learn this important difference before puberty.

2. Take it somewhere private

If your child starts to discuss a private activity in public, interrupt or move to a more private area, so you are modeling where to have these sorts of conversations.

3. Appropriate behavior

Talk about what kind of behavior is appropriate in public and in private. For e.g., “Is it OK to kiss and hug your boyfriend during a lesson at college?”

4. Body parts

When bathing, label the body part and whether it is public or private. Use anatomically correct names for genitals.

5. Encourage independence

Whenever possible, & from a young age, encourage independence in wiping/cleaning after going to the toilet & when bathing/drying. If your child needs your help, put your hand over theirs while they do the wiping/drying/cleaning. Tell them you are doing this because their body belongs to them.

6. Touch

Teach your child that they ‘own’ their body. Nobody can touch their body without their consent. They choose who they share their body with, and it’s OK to say ‘no’.

7. Peer pressure

Make sure your child understands they don’t need to kiss, cuddle or have sex with someone if they don’t want to. Remind them they are in control of their body.

8. Just say ‘no’!

Talk about consent with your child. Do they feel confident enough to say ‘no’ to being intimate if they are not ready? Practice saying ‘No’ with them, using assertive body language and eye contact.

9. Comfortable & uncomfortable

Talk about ‘comfortable’ and ‘uncomfortable’ types of touch. ‘When you give me a hug I feel really loved & comfortable.’ ‘Kicking hurts & I feel unsafe & uncomfortable when it happens.’

10. Touch changes

Talk about how touch can start off feeling comfortable, then can become uncomfortable. For eg ‘When you were wrestling with your brother you felt safe until he was rough & then you felt uncomfortable.’

11. Ban ‘good’& ‘bad’

Link the feeling to ‘comfortable’ or ‘uncomfortable’ rather than ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Using ‘good’ or ‘bad’ may make the child feel they are bad if they have an uncomfortable feeling.

12. Business touch

We ask people with disabilities to sit quietly and allow their bodies to be touched by strangers a lot … doctors, therapists, aides, care assistants, etc. This leaves them vulnerable to abuse. Teach about ‘business touch’ e.g. ‘It is the business of the doctor to touch your foot and help it grow straighter.’

13. Explain what you’re doing

Explain to people what you are doing when you have to apply medical ointment/creams to their genitals or clean them when they are soiled. This is an excellent time to talk about private & who can touch, & why the touching is happening.

14. Take it slowly

Don’t bombard your child with a lot of information about sex at once. Be prepared to tell them things again to reinforce the message and help them understand. Make sure you speak to your child at a level they can understand.

15. Keep an open mind

Think about your own feelings, attitudes, values and comfort level related to sexuality issues. Try to maintain an open mind when talking to your child about sexual issues. Try not to react negatively to what they say or do.

16. Get your facts right

Make sure you have correct information before giving it to your child. It’s OK to tell them you’re not sure about an issue and you will find out.

17. Three’s company

It can be helpful to ask a friend or support worker to accompany your child on dates in the early stages of a new relationship. They don’t need to sit with them on a romantic date, but could sit in the same cafĂ© reading a book for example, so still be close at hand for support when needed.

18. Keep it to yourself

If your child is going on a date with someone new, make sure they don’t divulge personal details, such as address, mobile number, bank or passport details. Talk about the importance of privacy.

19. Hormones and emotions

Be prepared for the emotional turbulence that can come with hormonal changes during puberty. Try your best to be patient and understand that your child may need more alone time.

I sure hope that this helps and I would also recommend that you visit the blog that I got some of this information from...

1 comment:

  1. Awesome blog! This blog to me can be used for special needs children and for those parents who are like "Aaaaaaa help me" basic simple to the point!