In Awareness Campaign, Down Syndrome Community Voices

A wonderful campaign was launched on International Women’s Day to empower women with disabilities because indeed, how much do you forget about them being a woman when they have a disabilty? (see troynize.com)
Let’s take it further, though: how much do we forget about them all being adults when they have a cognitive impairment?
When I say “we”, I mean society but also parents, relatives, carers, support workers…
What happens when our children become adults? When the raging hormones start taking their natural course and, more often than not, the physical readiness is way ahead of the psychological one. Sure, I would like to assume that all our children are given sex education at school (or at home when home-schooled), but even then, all our children have different abilities:

  1. Who checks what has been processed?
  2. Who checks how much has been processed and how accurately?
  3. Who checks what has been retained?
  4. Who teaches them about consent and their rights? (and back to points 1, 2, and 3!)
  5. Who keeps on checking until it HAS been processed fully and accurately?

Disability is a subject people notoriously shy away from although we’ve started witnessing what I hope is a long-lasting shift in that respect.
Disability and intimacy, however, is still a very taboo topic, either because people never even give it a second thought, assuming it’s just not done and that people with disabilities are somehow magically deprived of libido, or they think it’s gross and simply shouldn’t happen!
Did you know that sexuality is a human right? That it doesn’t discriminate?
That is why it is of paramount importance to provide our adults with the tools to understand what is happening to their body, to help them be able to put a name on their emotions, to protect them against abuse and unwanted pregnancies, against STDs, to help them form and maintain loving relationships.
Here is a list of very helpful links for parents, for carers, for support workers, and for adults with a learning disability.

Down Syndrome Association

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