Kids and teens with disabilities
Supporting a child with a disability
In this section
Where to start?
It's not always easy to know where to start when talking to your child with a disability about sexuality, relationships and sex. You may face added worry about how to keep your child happy and safe.
It's important to remember that the issues and concerns people with disabilities have around sex and sexuality are no different.
Although there can be some added barriers with things like communication, these can be overcome.
There are many great resources, supportive agencies and highly trained professionals available to help support you along the way.
Sexuality education is more than just about sex.
It is about bodies, growing up, identity, values, relationships and more.
If we define sexuality education as instilling self-worth, self-value and self-esteem, then sexuality education should begin at birth and topics introduced as soon as your child can understand what you are telling them. Little and often.
As we do in all others areas of education, use the 'teachable moments' as they arise...and find ways to weave topics into conversations (if they don't arise naturally).
Agencies for support
SECCA supports people with disability and their significant carers to learn about relationships, sexuality and sexual health.
Their services include:
- sexuality and relationships counselling
- one-on-one counselling
- training in protective behaviours, menstrual management and duty of care.
- tailor-make workshops to suit specific needs
- specialist education services
- a comprehensive resource library.
Parents can receive information through the counselling service or by consultation over the phone.
For a small fee, you can borrow resources from the SECCA library on a wide range of relationships and sexuality topics suitable for each age and stage of development.
The SECCA App is a free picture-based resource that includes illustrations and lessons to support relationships and sexuality education for people of all ages and abilities.
The People 1st Programme (PIP) at Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ) believe that people with a disability must be acknowledged as sexual beings who have the right to make informed choices about their sexuality, sexual and reproductive health, and relationships.
PIP supports people with a disability through counselling and education around respectful relationships, protective education and sexuality. They offer one-to-one sessions developed specifically to suit the needs, age and ability of the individual.
- resilience and self-esteem
- public and private concepts
- protective education
- puberty and hygiene
- friendship skills
- sex, consent and the law
- sexual diversity
- safer sex practices and STIs
- contraception and pregnancy choices
- men’s and women’s health
- respectful relationships including couples counselling
- cyber safety, sexting and bullying
- assertive communication.
PIP provides services in Perth, Albany, Bunbury and Busselton and through outreach services in Joondalup and Mandurah. They also provide services via video conferencing.
PIP also offers services for parents, carers and other service providers.
They have a comprehensive school program with tailored sessions suited to primary and secondary students and workplaces, which are delivered in consultation with staff.
PIP is a registered service provider with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and is a project of The Family Planning Association of WA (Inc.) trading as SHQ (Sexual Health Quarters).