Parents often ask me how to talk to their developmentally and physically disabled kiddos about sex. It’s a good question – it seems like something that should happen differently than with their other kids, but it’s not so much.
These kids need the same information as every other kid, the only difference being a focus on their developmental age, rather than their physical age.
Gotta 10 year old who’s more like a 6 year old? Give them 6 year old style information. As your child ages, they will need to know about puberty and how their body will be changing from a kid body to a grown up body.
Get books, draw pictures, answer questions and give them information. They need it, just like every other kid needs it. Use lots of different communication styles, especially the ones that work best with your child.
Because they are more vulnerable than the average kid, these children do need very clear information about boundaries, bodies and inappropriate touch. Don’t be afraid to teach your kids (all of them) to say very clearly “Don’t! Stop! I don’t like that!”
Role play this with them.
If they can’t talk or communicate very well, very carefully screen their caregivers and never, ever, ever hire anyone that gives you creepy or uncomfortable feeling. That’s your intuition talking and it will not steer you wrong. Don’t hire that person.
Especially if your child is clearly uncomfortable with this person.
Sex doesn’t need to be a taboo topic with kids with developmental differences – they deserve to have the same information to help keep them safe as every other kid does.
Here’s some more help! http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/479?task=view
*I know “special ed” is probably not PC, but it sounded good and you know what I mean, so kindly hold your fire.