For many, down syndrome seems like one of those insurmountable disabilities that can make dating, relationships, and even marriage impossible. For some however, down syndrome is nothing more than a diagnosis from the doctor that is there to be challenged. Kate Owens is one such woman who despite the odds, has overcome her down syndrome to live a full and loving life. Kate met her husband at a local disco when he, as any other man interested in a woman would do, bought her a drink and they spent the rest of the evening dancing. There was no awkward explanations, no pause because of her disability, and certainly no worries when it came to this blossoming romance. Just like any other girl would do, Kate went home to tell her mother about this knight in shining armor that she met.
5 Ways to Navigate Dating With Down Syndrome | | Special Bridge
Noted sexuality educator Terri Couwenhoven helps both children with Down syndrome and their parents navigate these difficult waters. That denial can perpetuate the myth that people with Down syndrome are asexual, she said. Parents can, and should, take the lead in helping their children develop the foundations of healthy relationships, and Couwenhoven shared three key tips for parents to approach the subject of dating and relationships. Parents also serve as role models. Look for opportunities to explain dating before your son or daughter is old enough to actually date, Couwenhoven advised.
A Married Woman with Down Syndrome Shares Her Story
Maryanne Martin and Tommy Pilling. Dating can be brutal, no matter who you are. These feelings and experiences are no different for many adults with Down Syndrome leading active, and fulfilling romantic lives. According to to Couwenhoven, this is partly due to cultural stigma and sex shaming that affects the general population as a whole. Couwenhoven partially attributes much of the lack of information about sexuality in people with Down Syndrome to common misconceptions that individuals with the condition are sterile, incapable of, and uninterested in sex.
Sex education, appropriate for the developmental level and intellectual attainment of individuals with Down syndrome, adds to life quality by engendering healthy sexuality, reducing the risk of sexual abuse, avoiding sexual misunderstandings, preventing disease transmission, preventing unwanted pregnancy and alleviating other problems related to sexual function. In the past, sexuality was not considered an issue for any people with Down syndrome because of the inaccurate belief that intellectual disability formerly known as mental retardation produced permanent childhood. In fact, all people with Down syndrome have sexual feelings and intimacy needs.
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