Why is it needed?
Historically the sexual rights of people with Learning Disabilities have been ignored or over looked, until there is a problem. It is at this stage when other people get involved and the individual ends up having to persuade others to allow them to engage in a relationship.
“Fulfilling whatever it is we desire from an intimate relationship is one of our fundamental needs as human beings. Everybody has the right to have sex and relationships if they want, in whatever context they choose” FPA 2017.
From experience we know that people with a Learning Disability want their needs supported, they want information about sex, sexual health, relationships and coping with emotions so that they are more confident and feel safer when engaging with their peers.
Often coping with changes can be difficult for all people, but for those who have a Learning Disability or Autism this can prove harder as they may struggle to understand their emotions, sexual feelings, sexual identity or cope with things like puberty or menopause.
The government are currently consulting about what is to be included in the curriculum when it becomes statutory in Schools, in 2019, to deliver Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). It is often that people with Learning Disabilities require more time to process information to enable them to utilise it effectively. With this in mind, revisiting education on these topics where they can ask questions is fundamental to enabling them safe access to a basic human right.