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Affects of Disabilities

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HOW PARTICULAR DISABILITIES
AFFECT SEXUALITY AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION


As has been said, the development of sexuality takes place in all youngsters. Consequently, whether your child has a sensory, orthopedic, mental, emotional, or learning disability, he or she has a genuine need for accurate information about sexuality, as well as the need to accept sexuality as a part of his or her identity.

The type of disability that a child has, however, may affect the way in which information should be presented. The disability may also affect what type of information is presented. For example, a person with mental retardation may need information presented in small amounts and in simple, concrete, and basic terms. This person may also need the family and caregivers to stress the distinctions between public and private behavior, as well as how to identify who is a stranger and who is a friend. On the other hand, a young person with a visual impairment would be capable of understanding a wide range of concepts and facts about sexuality but may need materials presenting this information through touch or hearing, or through braille or large print materials. A young person with a physical disability would be similarly capable of understanding material about sexuality, but would not need the information to be presented in alternate formats (e.g., braille or cassette). He or she might, however, need specific information about how the physical disability affects expression of sexuality and participation in a sexual relationship. Young people with learning disabilities generally do not require specialized materials or formats to learn about sexuality. They may only need some modification to the pace and manner in which information is presented and increased emphasis on social skills.

Thus, tailoring the pace and presentation of information to the needs of each young person is very important. To do so effectively, parents and professionals will need to take into consideration:

-- how the child's particular disability may affect his or her social-sexual development;
-- how the disability affects the child's ability to learn information about sexual issues; and
-- what extra information may need to be provided to address any specific characteristics of a particular disability.

Understanding how a particular disability (e.g., Down Syndrome, deafness, etc.) affects social-sexual development, how it affects the learning process, and how it affects sexual expression can help parents and professionals more effectively approach talking to and teaching children about sexuality.

Fortunately, there is a variety of information available in regards to sexuality education for individuals with particular disabilities. Space limitations in this NEWS DIGEST prevent us from discussing these issues in the detail that parents and professionals -- and, indeed, the individual with a disability -- need in order to adequately prepare youth for adult life and responsibilities. Therefore, this section lists resources that can help parents and professionals become informed themselves. This information can be of invaluable help in planning and delivering sexuality education that meets the specific concerns of individuals with particular disabilities. This list is organized by type of disability.

MENTAL RETARDATION, DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES

Amary, I.B. (1980). Social awareness, hygiene, and sex education for the mentally retarded. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. (B)

Bernstein, N.R. (1990). Sexuality in adolescent retardates. In M. Sugar (Ed.), Atypical adolescence and sexuality (pp. 44-56). New York: W.W. Norton. (C)

Caster, J.A. (1988). Sex education. In G.A. Robertson et al. (Eds.), Best practices in mental disabilities (Chapter 17). Des Moines, IA: Division of Special Education, Iowa State Department of Public Instruction. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 304 845).

Hingsburger, D. (1990). I contact: Sexuality and people with developmental disabilities. Mountville, PA: Vida. (B)

Hollander, D. (1995, April). Meeting the needs of people with developmental disabilities. SIECUS Report, 23(4), 1-36.

Kempton, W., Gordon, S., & Bass, M. (1986). Love, sex, and birth control for the mentally retarded - A guide for parents. Philadelphia: Planned Parenthood Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. (A)

Lieberman, J., & Pascale, B. (producers). (1991). Person to person. Silver Spring, MD: American Film & Video. (E)

LifeFacts 1 and LifeFacts 2. (1990). Santa Barbara, CA: James Stanfield. (F)

Lindemann, J. (1990). SAFE: An HIV/AIDS curriculum for individuals with MR/DD. Portland, OR: Oregon Health Sciences University. (D)

McCarthy, W., & Fegan, L. (1984). Sex education and the intellectually handicapped: A guide for parents and care givers. Sydney, Australia: ADIS Press. (A)

McClennen, S. (1988, Summer). Sexuality and students with mental retardation. Teaching Exceptional Children, 20(4), 59-61. (A)

McClennan, S.E., Hoekstra, R.R., & Bryan, J.E. (1980). Social skills for severely retarded adults: An inventory and training program. Champaign, IL: Research Press. (C)

McKee, L., & Blacklidge, V. (1981). An easy guide for caring parents: Sexuality and socialization: A book for parents of people with mental handicaps. Walnut Creek, CA: Planned Parenthood of Shasta/Diablo. (A)

Monat-Haller, R.K. (1992). Understanding and expressing sexuality: Responsible choices for individuals with developmental disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. (B)

Murphy, D.W., Coleman, E.M., & Abel, G.G. (1983). Human sexuality in the mentally retarded. In J.L. Matson & F. Andrasik (Eds.), Treatment issues and innovations in mental retardation (pp. 581-643). New York: Plenum. (D)

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. (1983). Learning to talk about sex when you'd rather not. St. Paul, MN: Author. (This is a 16mm film.) (A, to rent)

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. (in press). A guide for teaching human sexuality to the mentally handicapped. St. Paul, MN: Author. (A)

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. (1985). On being sexual. St. Paul, MN: Author. (This is a 16mm film.) (A, to rent)

Pueschel, S.M. (1988). The young person with Down Syndrome: Transition from adolescence to adulthood. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. (B)

Pueschel, S.M. (Ed.). (1990). Parent's guide to Down Syndrome: Toward a brighter future. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. (B)

Rowe, W.S., & Savage, S. (1987). Sexuality and the developmentally handicapped: A guidebook for health care professionals. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. (D)

Schwab, W. (1991). Sexuality in Down Syndrome. New York: National Down Syndrome Society. (A)

Sex education for persons with disabilities that hinder learning: Speaking of sex. (1988). Santa Barbara, CA: James Stanfield. (B)

Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S. (1991). Sexuality and the developmentally disabled: An annotated SIECUS bibliography of resources. New York: Author. (A)

Sexuality education for persons with severe developmental disabilities. (1988). Santa Barbara, CA: James Stanfield. (Program includes 500 slides and teacher s guide.) (F)

Sparks, S., & Caster, J.A. (1989). Human sexuality and sex education. In G.A. Robinson, J.R. Patton, E.A. Polloway, & L.R. Sargent (Eds.), Best practices in mild mental disabilities (pp. 289-313). Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Mental Retardation. (B)

Valenti-Hein, D., & Mueser, K.T. (1991). The dating skills program: Teaching social-sexual skills to adults with mental retardation. Worthington, OH: International Diagnostic Services, Inc. (C)

Young Adult Institute (producer). (1986). Sexuality. New York: Young Adult Institute. (C, to rent; D, to buy)

Zitzow, D. (1983). Human sexuality for the mentally retarded. Ridfield, SD: South Dakota State Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Pierre. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 232 350).

CEREBRAL PALSY


Kroll, K., & Klein, E. (1992). Enabling romance: A guide to love, sex, and relationships for disabled people (and the people who care about them). New York: Crown. (B)

Schleichkorn, J. (1983). Coping with cerebral palsy: Answers to questions parents often ask. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. (B)

United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. (1980). Strengthening individual and family life. Lancaster, PA: Author. (A)

United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc.. (1983). Programming for adolescents with cerebral palsy and related disabilities. Lancaster, PA: Author. (A)

LEARNING DISABILITIES

Cohen, L. (1986, June). Learning disabilities and psychological development. Churchill Forum, XIII(4), 1-5. (A)

Haight, S.L., & Fachting, D.D. (1986, June). Materials for teaching sexuality, love and maturity to high school students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 19(6), 344-350. (A)

Hazel, J.S., Schumaker, J.B., Sherman, J., & Sheldon-Wildgen, J. (1981). ASSET social school curriculum. Champaign, IL: Research Press. (F)

Vaughn, S.R., & LaGreca, A.M. (1988). Social interventions for learning disabilities. In Kenneth A. Kavale (Ed.), Learning disabilities: State of the art and practice (pp. 123-140). Boston: College-Hill. (C)

Wood, M.H. (1985). Learning disabilities and human sexuality. Academic Therapy, 20(5), 543-547. (A)

PHYSICAL DISABILITIES

Barrett, M. (1984). Resources on sexuality and physical disability. Rehabilitation Digest, 15(1), 15-18.

Blum, R.W. (1984). Sexual health needs of physically and intellectually impaired adolescents. In R.W. Blum (Ed.), Chronic illness and disabilities in childhood and adolescence (pp. 127-141). New York: Grune and Stratton. (D)

Hopper, C.E., & Allen, W.A. (1980). Sex education for physically handicapped youth. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. (B)

Kroll, K., & Klein, E. (1992). Enabling romance: A guide to love, sex, and relationships for disabled people (and the people who care about them). New York: Crown. (B)

Neistadt, M.E., & Freda, M. (1987). Choices: A guide to sex counseling with physically disabled adults. Malabar, FL: Robert E. Krieger. (B)

Shaman, E. (1985). Choices: A sexual assault prevention workbook for persons with physical disabilities. Seattle: Seattle Rape Relief Crisis Center. (A)

VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

Evans, J.W., & Evans, M.L. (1990). Sensory disability and adolescent sexuality. In M. Sugar (Ed.), Atypical adolescence and sexuality (pp. 57-86). New York: W.W. Norton. (C)

Kent, D. (1983). Finding a way through the rough years: How blind girls survive adolescence. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 77(6), 247-250. (A)

Kroll, K., & Klein, E. (1992). Enabling romance: A guide to love, sex, and relationships for disabled people (and the people who care about them). New York: Crown. (B)

Neff, J. (1983, June). Sexual well-being: A goal for young blind women. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 77(6), 296-7. (A)

Schuster, C.S. (1986). Sex education of the visually impaired child: The role of parents. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 80(4), 675-680. (A)

Shaman, E. (1985). Choices: A sexual assault prevention workbook for persons with visual impairments. Seattle: Seattle Rape Relief Crisis Center. (A)

Wagner, S. (1986). How do you kiss a blind girl? Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas. (B)

Willoughby, D.M., & Duffy, S. (1989). Handbook for itinerant and resource teachers of blind and visually impaired students. Baltimore, MD: National Federation of the Blind. (B)

HEARING IMPAIRMENTS

Bednarczy, A. (1989). Growing up sexually (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: Gallaudet, Pre-College Programs. (B for the teacher's guide; B for the student materials)

Fitz-Gerald, M. (1986). Information on sexuality for young people and their families. Washington, DC: Gallaudet, Pre-College Programs. (B)

Fitz-Gerald, M., & Fitz-Gerald, D.R. (Eds.). (1985). Viewpoints: Sex education and deafness. Washington, DC: Gallaudet, Pre-College Programs. (A)

Fitz-Gerald, D., Fitz-Gerald, M., Wilson, P., & Alter, J. (1986). Starting at home: A family - centered approach to the prevention of teenage pregnancy. Washington, DC: Gallaudet, Pre-College Programs. (B for Parent Resource Book; B for Trainer Manual)

Kroll, K., & Klein, E. (1992). Enabling romance: A guide to love, sex, and relationships for disabled people (and the people who care about them). New York: Crown. (B)

McDougall, J., & Hoffman, B. (1983). Human development and reproductive health for the hearing impaired population. St. Paul, MN: St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center-HIHW. (Five videos are in this series: Human Sexuality, Human Reproduction, Contraception, PAP/Pelvic Exam, and Breast Exam. Each video is $100; the entire series is $400.)

Minkin, M., & Rosen-Ritt, L. (1991). Signs for sexuality: A resource manual for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their families, and professionals. (2nd ed.). Seattle, WA: Planned Parenthood of Seattle-King County. (C)

O'Day, B. (1983). A resource guide for signs for sexual assault. St. Paul: Minnesota State Department of Corrections. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 277 213)

Shaman, E. (1985). Choices: A sexual assault prevention workbook for persons who are deaf and hard of hearing. Seattle: Seattle Rape Relief Crisis Center. (A)

CHRONIC ILLNESS

Greydamus, D.E., Gunther, M.S., Demarest, D.S., & Sears, J.M. (1990). Sexuality and the chronically ill adolescent. In M. Sugar (Ed.), Atypical adolescence and sexuality (pp. 147-157). New York: W.W. Norton. (C)

Kroll, K., & Klein, E. (1992). Enabling romance: A guide to love, sex, and relationships for disabled people (and the people who care about them). New York: Crown. (B)

National Center for Youth with Disabilities. (1991). Issues in sexuality for adolescents with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Minneapolis: Author. (A)

Schover, L.R., & Jensen, S.B. (1988). Sexuality and chronic illness: A comprehensive approach. New York: Guilford. (C)

Woodhead, J.C., & Murph, J.R. (1985, September). Influence of chronic illness and disability on adolescent sexual development. Seminars in Adolescent Medicine, 1(3), 171-176.

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