This is a tuff one for us.Our son is eighteen and a great kid,but he is starting to wonder about his penis.Zach was born with two holes in his heart,We had to wait until he was three years old for him to have the open heart surgury.The doctors said his disability is do to the lack of oxygen in his brain from when he was born.So what I need help on is how to show our teach him about his body.It is tough to explain to him about self masterbation,I don't want to overstep my parenting and make it something out dirty.I know it should be ok with a normal young adult but how do you help your child in this area. I would love to just get a learning video to let him watch that is just made for teaching[not a porno type].My wife want me to try helping on this as he is a male. Lucky me : }
this is a really common issue for parents of young adults with disabilities--the struggle with how to teach healthy attitudes about sexuality. If he is still in school, then he would by law have access to appropriate curricula to teach him about health and sexuality. If he is still in school, I would ask his case manager to provide you with copies of the materials they use. The special education staff should be able to point you towards lots of resources that would be a good match for your son's cognitive and emotional maturity.
If he's no longer in school or not in a school with a structured sex education program, contact the local ARC (association for retarted citizens) for help. Associations like TASH (www.tash.org), and The Council for Exceptional Children (www.cec.sped.org) should also be able to point you towards good materials.
As with any young person, the key is to effectively communicate both the factual information about how bodies work with the information about making good choices (such as when its appropirate to be sexual, what is appropriate to say etc). Your son will probably need lots of instruction repeated over time, and of course will need lots of prompts and reminders. Even children/adolescents without disabilities go throughphases of intense curiosity and exploration, and sometimes engage in behaviors that make us cringe. Our society can be reluctant to understand that individuals with disabilities have the same sexual feelings and desires that we all do. I would recommend that you reach out to other families with adult disabled children for tips and ideas, and perhaps for social connections for your son.
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