Does a child who has a disability need to be taught about sex?
This FAQ was compiled in partnership with the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center and with the expert review of Dr. Scott Modell, Deputy Commissioner Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
Regardless of developmental level, education regarding the development of healthy relationships is encouraged, which includes “sexuality education” rather than “sex education.” There are many aspects to sexuality education that are broader than education about “sex.”
Children with developmental disabilities may have trouble with social rules and norms, such as distinguishing between appropriate private vs. public behaviors. This can increase their risk of sexual abuse. Teaching these concepts in a developmentally appropriate manner will help your child to develop the skills necessary for self-protection and safety, and to reduce the likelihood of engaging in behaviors, including those of a sexual nature, that are potentially harmful or offensive to others.