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Question
Posted by: Ray | 2018/05/20

Sex ed

Hello, How can I explain to my 14 year old with down syndrome about sex so that he can understand it correctly. He cannot speak very well and at times I'm not sure what he is always understanding. He is very aware of relationships and marriage, he says 'same' and has discovered that certain parts feel good. I want to try get him to understand but also not want him to want to go out and act in a not appropriate manner to girls. I don't know if you understand what I'm trying to say? Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2018/05/24

Hello Ray,
Firstly, I'm sorry that someone, I don't know who, has caused needless delays in putting your question to me, so I can answer it.  I am appalled.  Anyhow, to get down to your question.
What an interesting question ! I understand exactly what you are trying to say. It's very sensible to be concerned here.  People with Down's Syndrome vary quite widely : in their level of intelligence and ability to understand such complex concepts.  You know your son better than anyone outside the family can. Some general points :
Though you'll need to follow each conversation according to his responses and questions, it's important to think through and jot down the points you want to cover.  Where practical, use his vocabulary.  Have some age-appropriate illustrations at hand. You're wise to see the more specific issues as part of the broader matters like relationships and families, rather than too strictly mechanical.  Don't aim at a single Big Session, but at starting an ongoing discussion, and encouraging him to continue to raise with you any questions that occur to him in the future.
As you mention he has discovered that some body parts can feel good, masturbation might be a good place to discus the situation.  It's natural and healthy ( and inevitable !) and allows you to raise vital issues of boundaries, and privacy ( both his own and that of others.)
If he is linked to any Down facility or organization, there may be staff or other parents, who can advise, based on their own experiences.
Also explore the availability of some of the books that have been published to help with precisely this task : check on Amazon, Raru, and Loot.
For instance : "Teaching children with Down Syndrome about their Bodies, Boundaries & Sexuality", and " When Young People with Intellectual Disabilities & Autism Hit Puberty : A Parent's Q&A Guide...".  I also checked and there are a good number of useful articles & the text of pamphlets, available online if you Google "sex education for Down Syndrome." 
If you feel like doing so, feel free to return to this forum and let us know how matters progress.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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