Sex Ed for Special Needs Students Receives an Upgrade
Special education services provide vital academic aid to children with special needs. However, some parts of these education services are not as substantial as others. For example, sexual education classes are rarely catered to students with special needs. That’s why a school district in Michigan has decided to introduce a new program, teaching special ed students about the details of reproduction. The main idea behind this idea is to upgrade the standard of sex ed teaching for these students, ensuring that they are fully aware of the potential dangers associated with sexuality.
Schools all across the Thornapple Kellogg School District will benefit from this program. Statistics have shown that students lacking these educational experiences are at a higher risk of experiencing unfortunate sex-related issues; they are more likely to find themselves engaging in unsafe sex and can even be victims of abuse more regularly. In order to combat these statistics and protect vulnerable students, the new classes will hopefully raise awareness levels of the problems that can come with sex.
With the rise of new technologies like smartphones and the internet, students are more commonly viewing pornographic images and even sharing their own private photos with others. The sexual education program upgrade will attempt to highlight the dangers of this behavior.
As one would expect, parents of special education students in the Thornapple Kellogg School District have responded in a positive fashion to these new proposals. Megan Roon, a social worker for the district, revealed that many parents have previously requested help when attempting to explain sexuality and bodily changes to their own children. Discussions of a sexual nature between parents and children can be difficult in the best of circumstances, and the presence of special educational needs can make the process even harder, so many parents are grateful for the additional support.
Incredibly, this sort of program is actually quite rare as there is a widely-held belief that special education students don’t actually require the same levels of sex ed as others. The idea that children with disabilities will be more likely to encounter sexual problems if they learn more about sex is a common notion, but an erroneous one. In actuality, the more children know about the dangers of sex, the more wary they are and therefore less likely to do something that could get them into trouble. With special ed children, parents can often simply find it too difficult to explain sex and give up too soon.
Regardless of the reasoning, students with disabilities should not be ignored when it comes to sexual education. Like all young people, they have the right to learn about the changes in their bodies and the controversial issues associated with sex. Teachers and parents have the obligation to help these children through a difficult time in their lives and allow them to be safe in the future. Hopefully this sex ed upgrade will lead to similar programs being introduced around the country and around the world.