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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Supporting Parents as Sexuality Educators for Individuals with Intellectual Disability: The Development of the Home B.A.S.E. Curriculum

July 2019 | Frank & Sandman - Sexuality and Disability (2019)


All individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) have the right to develop and express sexuality in an emotionally satisfying and socially appropriate manner. Questions have arisen as to whether sexuality education for this population should be the responsibility of the school or the family. Parents of children with I/DD report they want to be the primary sexuality educators for their children, but often overlook the responsibility because they do not know what to talk about, when to talk about it, or how to modify content so their child will understand. Available resources for parents of individuals with I/DD tend to provide opportunities for independent learning; Few in-person trainings where these parents can learn how and what to talk about regarding sexuality with their children exist. This article describes how the Home Based Adolescent Sexuality Education for Intellectual Disabilities (Home B.A.S.E.) curriculum was created to educate parents on their role as the primary sexuality educators for their adolescents with ID. The vision of the Home B.A.S.E. educational workshop is to increase parents’ comfort and confidence in discussing sexuality and healthy relationship topics with their adolescents with ID. This curriculum has unique features considered in its development including: (1) The belief that sexuality is a human right for individuals with ID; (2) The perspective of individuals with disabilities speaking about their sexual rights and relationships; (3) Activities based on adult, social, and transformational learning theories; and (4) A small interactive group format that meets over multiple sessions.

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