Sex education for children with special needs | Tiara Rahadian Putri, M.S., BCBA from Yayasan Sahabat Anak Istimewa Indonesia (YASAINDO)| Kinderkloud

Sex education for children with special needs

photo by j u n e: https://www.pexels.com/photo/boy-and-girl-sitting-on-bench-toy-1767434/

It is important to provide sex education from an early age to all children, especially children with special needs. Why? Whether we realize it or not, children's understanding of sexuality is generally related to issues of safety, hygiene or cleanliness, as well as meaningful and quality relationships with other people.

Sexual violence and harassment can happen to anyone, but individuals with special needs have a relatively higher risk. Teaching skills from basic to more complex skills can help children with special needs advocate for themselves when they grow up.

In addition, sexual education can also have an impact on how the individual can prevent or deal with health issues related to his sexual health. It should be noted that groups of individuals in the same special needs category may have different health risks. Therefore, it is important to involve experts in their field when parents seek information about their child's risks or needs.

Sexual education also indirectly has an impact on how children learn social interactions. For example, "how close am I to the person I'm talking to?", "what touch is classified as safe and unsafe?", "in what situations and where can I wear certain clothes?", and so on. Just like humans in general, children with special needs will later experience a period of attraction to other people. Sexual education can help these children to build appropriate social interactions and hopefully they can build meaningful relationships with other people.

How to teach sexual education for children with special needs?
The effective way will depend on the special needs and skills the child has. The strategies and approaches used will differ for children with locomotor disorders (such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy), developmental disorders (such as autism), or visual impairments of the same age, for example. However, parents can pay attention and consider the following points in teaching an understanding of sexuality to children with special needs:


1. Involve relevant experts.
A child's special needs can affect their physical growth or hormonal development. For example, children with neurodevelopmental disabilities may experience physical changes at puberty earlier than their peers (Murphy & Elias, 2006); in which case, parents can consult a doctor. But not only with doctors, parents can also consult with experts or related practitioners regarding child development, or simply seek support or input on appropriate strategies to use to carry out appropriate sexual education for children.


2. Teach according to the child's developmental stage and skills.
Just like children without special needs, understanding of sexuality should be taught from an early age and adjusted as they grow and develop. Find out what your child already understands about sexuality at his age. In addition, it is important to know what children can do and what they cannot, so parents can adjust strategies. For example, for children with autism whose expressive communication skills are not good enough, it may be considered to be taught to say "no" or report to parents when a stranger is physically touching. Another example, for children with limited language skills, the use of media such as pictures or videos can be an alternative to verbal explanations. If parents are unsure about their child's skills, consult the relevant expert.


3. Teach using context.
For children with certain special needs, understanding how to socialize in the community can be a more difficult challenge than most people. For example, some children in this category need to be taught to identify social cues so that they can respond to others according to the context in which they are located; such as: do other people feel comfortable when the child has physical contact with that person? Or how does his face look when I touch him?


4. Practice indepenent- and self-care skills from an early age.
Self-care skills and independence can be a challenge for some children with special needs. But these skills become important as children grow up. For example, with the child being able to bathe by himself or put on his own clothes, it is less likely that the child will depend on others to assist him in activities that involve private parts. The hope is that this will prevent children from being involved in situations that have safety issues, such as being offered help by strangers or family members.

 

Note: this contitues general information. Consult a relevant practitioner if you have any concerns about your child.

 

Tiara Putri, MS. BCBA.

BehaviorPALS

 

 

 

Referensi:

Murphy, N. A., & Elias, E. R. (2006). Sexuality of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. Pediatrics118(1), 398-403.

 

sex education, special needs, autism

Special Needs / Berkebutuhan Khusus / Sex Education / Pendidikan Seks / Health / Kesehatan / Sex education for children with special needs

Comments

Add Comment
photo of birthday tale book cover kinderkloud
Birthday Tale
Kinderkloud
Personalized book symbolizing that each child is special, wished for, longed for and play for and all the nature celebrate them together. Children will be introduced to various animals in their natural habitats along the journey.
photo of dream high book cover kinderkloud
Dream High
Kinderkloud
Personalized book to help Children imagine the professions in the future through their lens and encourage the little dreamers to explore and pursue their passion because the future is in their hands.
photo of prayer warrior book cover kinderkloud
Prayer Warrior
Kinderkloud
Personalized book to explain and the concept and importance of prayers to children and continuously remind our future generations to be mindful and thankful even for the smallest things in life. A guide book for our little prayer warriors to pray every day, everywhere and in every way.
photo of 5 colorful balloons book cover kinderkloud
5 Colorful Balloons
Blubridge Center
Balonku ada 5.. Rupa Rupa Warnanya..
Taking this classic to another level by combining this seemingly simple songs with Plutchick's Wheel of Emotions to introduce children to understand and express their feelings positively with introduction to Manners and Values in every step of the way for everyday life.
photo of starry starry paradise book cover kinderkloud
Starry Starry Paradise
Kinderkloud x Marianne Rumantir
Are you team mountain or team beach?
Personalized book to trigger the imagination and curiosity to discover the wonders of our wonderful Indonesia. The food, music, fashion, language, landscape and the culture. They all never fail to amaze us. What better legacy can we pass on for Indonesia than by instilling nationalism to the future generation of this part of the planet called heaven on earth.
photo of journey to the top book cover kinderkloud
Journey to the Top
Kinderkloud x Marianne Rumantir
Are you team mountain or team beach?
Personalized book to trigger the imagination and curiosity to discover the wonders of our wonderful Indonesia. The food, music, fashion, language, landscape and the culture. They all never fail to amaze us. What better legacy can we pass on for Indonesia than by instilling nationalism to the future generation of this part of the planet called heaven on earth.
photo of cerita di festival ceria book cover kinderkloud
Cerita di Festival Ceria
Kinderkloud | Parentalk | Good Enough Parents
Tidak ada dua yang sama persis, setiap anak memiliki kegemaran, keunikan, dan karakterisitik yang spesial termasuk Kakak dan Adik. Ikuti perjalanan mereka dalam sebuah kisah akhir pekan yang berkesan di Festival in the Jungle untuk mengeksplorasi dan mengenal diri mereka masing-masing lebih dalam lagi.
photo of preparing for a sibling book cover kinderkloud
Preparing for a Sibling
Regina F. Amal
A heartwarming story where child learns what it means to become a bigger sibling. Featuring both children, in one delightful story! Meanwhile, parents are assuring that each child will always be loved just the same. There will always be enough love for everyone.
photo of being a good sport book cover kinderkloud
Being a Good Sport
Sigi Wimala
In the heart of this whimsical THE GREAT FOREST GAME, your loved ones discovers the true essence of sportsmanship: the cherished value of friendship that outshines any victory. Experience the joy of camaraderies and empathy as your loved ones embraces the spirit of being a good sport, leaving a lasting impression on young hearts.
photo of birthday wishlist book cover kinderkloud
Birthday Wishlist
Kinderkloud x Mama Ani
This year, on a memorable birthday occasion, a caring Mom considered sharing the importance of delayed gratification. Join your loved one in crafting a birthday wishlist and discovering the Power of Patience to make each birthday genuinely extraordinary.
photo of christmas wishlist book cover kinderkloud
Christmas Wishlist
Kinderkloud x Mama Ani
This year, on a memorable christmas occasion, a caring Mom considered sharing the importance of delayed gratification. Join your loved one in crafting a christmas wishlist and discovering the Power of Patience to make each christmas genuinely extraordinary.