Make sex education mandatory for kids with intellectual disabilities, say experts

Providing sex education to children has become need of the hour. With cases of sexual abuse and harassment on a rise amongst children, teachers and parents must take initiatives to provide children with the right information.

How do parents enlighten mentally disabled children about sex education? A recent seminar at the Intact Special School Trust in Trichy in Tamil Nadu tried to shed some light on the matter. The topic of the seminar was Sexuality-related issues for persons with mental disabilities and the ways to handle them. The event stressed on the importance of providing sex education to intellectual disabled children who have hit puberty.

At the event, parents, teachers and psychologists spoke about the topic. Some of them raised concerns about how mentally disabled children and students behave inappropriately in public because they are not aware of bodily changes.

A special educator who took part in the event said that mentally disabled children must never be stopped from exploring their bodies. Just like any other human being, they have the right to experiment and explore with their bodies. But they must be taught to behave appropriately in public, and they must know what has to be done privately!

Even homosexuality amongst mentally disabled children must never be opposed. They must be given a better insight into the topic.

In order to educate mentally disabled children, parents and teachers can use representations and images. This is applicable to children with autism and other developmental disorders as well.

Officials from the trust asserted that teenage girls with mental disabilities must be made aware about menstruation. They must also be taught to protect themselves from harassers and other such anti-social elements.

ALSO READ: Building a community network of parents with special needs kids - My Take by Prachi Deo, Founder, Nayi Disha Resource Centre

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