With increasing reports of sexual abuse and harassment, it has become imperative to impart sex education to students of all ages. Sex education has established itself as a prominent inclusion in every child curriculum. However, the challenge lies in teaching sexual health to children with special needs.
Students with certain physical or mental challenges might find it a bit difficult to comprehend the structural aspects of the human anatomy and its various functions. Therefore, explaining the significance of sexual health and other facts related to the sexuality of an individual could prove to be a difficult task at times. Special children are known to be immensely receptive, thus all you need for teaching sexual health to these students, is a comprehensive and adequate sex education program and some valuable patience for explaining the concepts with due compassion.
Sex Education Programs for Students with Special Needs
One needs to exercise discretion while choosing a sex education program especially for special children. The program must possess certain essential attributes for proving to be a successful tool for imparting the right kind of education in the most effective manner.
- A sex education program which is meant for children with special needs, must always promote principles and values, which are representative of social justice. These concepts will be readily understood and accepted by such audience.
- The sex education program should not address the entire group of children with special needs, as one homogenous group. Their individualities must be respected at all times. They all hail from different social-economic backgrounds and cultural backdrops, which make them different from each other. Although, it may not be possible to address each and every student individually, thus, the program as a whole should be able to strike a chord with each segment in the group. Just because they share common handicaps does not mean that they belong to the same generic group.
- The messages sent out by you should essentially ring in a positive note. Sexual activity must be explained in a positive light and the program must also talk safety.
- Ideally, a sex education program for teaching special children should attempt to look beyond providing information. Along with putting forth informative content, it should also help in developing essential skills, such as communication, promoting positive interactions and relationship building. It should attempt to improve abilities, such as problem solving and making well-informed decisions.
- While teaching the topic, you as a teacher need to remember that the ones who are intellectually disabled might have either suffered or continue to suffer from episodes of sexual abuse. Therefore, you need to be especially sensitive towards their needs while providing them with relevant inputs aimed at simplifying matters for them.
Teaching sexual health to children with special needs is no different from educating normal students about sex education. You need to adopt a compassionate and humanitarian approach for ensuring success.
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