Are you concerned about your child’s sexual health development and need support from your school team? You can work with their IEP team to include sexual health topics in their learning plan.
Your child can benefit from learning about these topics beginning at any age. The topics and complexity can advance and grow as they do. It is important to start with topics that are relatable and support the social and emotional development of your child. Social and emotional development addresses: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Some topics to explore within the HUB to support this development include boundaries in relationships, healthy relationships, and social media and online boundaries. As your child gets older, and bodily changes begin to occur, start introducing the more advanced topics provided within the HUB.
Learning about these topics has valuable long-term impacts on students.
Consent – Understanding and practicing asking for and giving consent teaches your student to advocate for themselves and can help protect against sexual abuse.
Boundaries – Setting appropriate physical and emotional boundaries gives your student the skills they need to maintain healthy relationships at home, school, work, and in the community.
Reproduction – Understanding the body and how it works allows your student to communicate their needs with medical providers and protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and STIs.
Collaborate with your child’s teacher and the rest of the IEP team to create goals that center around sexual health. The Disability-inclusive Sexual Health Network has heard from many teachers who would like to provide instruction on these topics but are not able to do so without the inclusion of goals on the IEP. DSHN has created a Sexual Health Concept guide to help parents/guardians and IEP teams create individualized goals for Family Life Education.
Use this resource as a base to identify the specific areas of need and to develop a plan that supports your child’s growth and access to this valuable education.