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24 September 2014
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Sex education initiative to build confidence
March 2001

couple in cafe.
Forming emotional and sexual relationships is a normal part of growing up

Many parents of disabled children are concerned about whether or not their offspring will one day be able to have full emotional and sexual relationships.

Sex and sexuality are often difficult topics for parents to discuss with their children. Things are complicated further when the child is physically disabled.

However, there is help for parents who are struggling and an unique conference to be held in Norwich aims to provide just that. Zoë Breen discovers that new support and resources for this neglected area are becoming available.

SPOD, the association to aid the sexual and personal relationships of people with a disability, also tries to help the parents of disabled children: "Disability does not rule out sexual feelings, sexual needs or, usually sexual capabilities," says its leaflet Your Handicapped Child and Sex.

"Parents have a duty to see that this knowledge is passed on to them in a suitable form, either by themselves or by someone expert in such education."

Social life.
Disability need not prohibit a social life

Until now the questions surrounding these issues have been rarely discussed openly by groups of parents/carers of disabled children. A conference in Norwich aims to encourage parents to discuss sex with their children without embarrassment.

Joy Mounser, of Norwich and Norfolk Scope Association, is organising a conference to help parents/carers of children with disabilities to get to grips with these difficult and sensitive issues.

"The conference aims to give information to parents and carers so that they feel more confident and able to support their disabled children."

Although the conference is open to to parent supporters of children with any disability, the event is aimed primarily at the needs of those with cerebral palsy.

Relevant teaching.
Relevant teaching materials are becoming available

The conference entitled The Sex Hiker's Guide to the Fallacy! is the first of its kind in Norfolk. It will be held in collaboration with Julia Collins and Sue Hands (Sprowston Day Centre), Neil Judges (Chappell Road School) and Joan Scott (People irst of Norfolk). The event will be held at NANSA in Norwich on Saturday 31st of March (full details are given below.

Ms Collins and Mr Judges will give talks on sexual education information, after which delegates will form four smaller workshop groups to discuss issues raised by the talks in a more informal setting.

Joy came up with the idea after realising that many parents were anxious about their offspring approaching young adulthood. Many were unsure of where to access sex education resources for their disabled children.

Sex issues.
The conference will open up discussion about sex issues

It is hoped that parents will come away from the conference with increased confidence about discussing sexual matters with their children. It is envisaged that the 'sex hikers' conference will be the first of many with the next meeting possibly being themed around HIV/AIDS.

The conference will be held at NANSA, 200 Bowthorpe, Norwich on Saturday March 31 between 10 and 2. For further details contact Joy Mounser on 01603 630769.

All the images that have been used within this article have been taken from The Lyric information and training pack's video entitled 'Sex education for young people with physical disabilities'. The pack was developed by SPOD and produced by First Field. It is only available directly from SPOD.

286 Camden Road
N7 0BJ


SPOD also has a helpline: 0207 607 8851. This is open from Monday to Thursday daytimes 10-4 with a counsellor usually available on Tuesday and Thursday 11-2.


See also:
News from NDIS
Norfolk Lavender
Clickable contacts
Gipp's gadgets
Sex education
Mind Body Soul

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