emotional and sexual relationships is a normal part of growing
of disabled children are concerned about whether or not their
offspring will one day be able to have full emotional and sexual
sexuality are often difficult topics for parents to discuss
with their children. Things are complicated further when the
child is physically disabled.
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.
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.
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."
need not prohibit a social life
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.
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.
conference aims to give information to parents and carers so
that they feel more confident and able to support their disabled
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.
teaching materials are becoming available
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.