Social and Sexual Issues During Transition

Here you will find expert advice on dealing with these two very sensitive issues.

Today, because of the work of advocates and people with disabilities over the past half-century, American society is acknowledging that those with disabilities have the same rights as other citizens to contribute to and benefit from our society. This includes the right to education, employment, self-determination, and independence. We are also coming to recognize, albeit more slowly, that persons with disabilities have the right to experience and fulfill an important aspect of their individuality, namely, their social life and sexuality. 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. Adequately preparing an individual for the transition to adulthood, with its many choices and responsibilities, is certainly one of the greatest challenges that parents and others face.

The focus of this section will be to address various concerns related to individuals with disabilities and their social and sexual issues. After reading this section you should understand the following:

  • The importance of developing social skills
  • Acquiring social skills
  • How families can help widen social experiences
  • Avoiding social mistakes
  • Fostering relationships: Suggestions for young adults
  • Misconceptions about sexuality and disability
  • Defining sexuality
  • How sexuality develops
  • Sexuality education
  • Suggestions for teaching children and youth about sexuality
  • Early Signs of Puberty
  • Issues to address with the adolescent
  • How particular disabilities affect sexuality and sexuality education

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