Other Sexual Concerns
Sexual issues for people with physical disabilities
Everyone deserves a satisfying sexual life– illness and disability don’t take away your sexuality. Sometimes people need support in having physical and emotional intimacy when suffering from a serious injury, illness or disability. We are here to help.
- Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain, and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette
- Pleasure Able: Sexual Device Manual for Persons with Disabilities
- Webinars about spinal injuries and problems and sex at SexandtheSpine.com
Sexual issues for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities
Families and caregivers often mean well when intervening into the sexual lives of persons with disabilities. However, like most things governed by human nature, caregivers may unwittingly impose their own beliefs about sexuality and sexual behaviors on persons receiving care. Caregivers have a dual role– a duty to protect and a duty to support an individual’s right to sexual expression. Clear policies and guidelines that incorporate both sexual protections and sexual expression are critical. One of our senior sex therapists, William Kelly, LCSW-R, DST, has been working with clients around the issues of sexuality and disabilities since the 1980s.
The Rochester Center for Sexual Wellness brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to working with facilities, agencies, families and clients on the topic of sexuality and disabilities. This includes:
- Awareness of NYS laws and court options governing capacity to give consent for sexual contact for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Awareness of acquired disabilities that impact sexual decision making such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cognitive changes such as dementia.
- Policy development to address the need to protect coupled with supporting the right of sexual expression.
- Assessing sexual risk and risk of sexual harm to others.
- Training for staff, administrators and regulatory personnel (i.e. Board of Directors) in implementing client centered policies and procedures on sexual issues.
- Consultation and supervision, along with direct practice for staff and clients on sexual issues.
Treatment for sexually harming youth
Our senior clinicians, William Kelly and Daniel Rosen, have provided risk assessment and treatment for sexual harming youth and follow guidelines from ATSA (Association for Treatment of Sex Abusers). We also support schools, youth groups, and other services for children and adolescents with problematic sexual behaviors in children and adolescents.
- Coordinate with staff, parents, and other stakeholders to differentiate between sexual behaviors that are normally experienced by children and adolescents and behaviors that fall outside the norm, including behaviors that are harmful or exploit other children.
- Provide assistance in developing clear policies that meet both goals of safety and freedom.
- Staff development and training.
- Direct service for youth with problematic sexual behavior.
Support for organizations and institutions with problematic sexual behavior in clients
Identifying adults who may cause sexual harm or exploit others in residential facilities or nursing homes is important for the safety of residents. Protecting the sexual rights of residents while keeping others safe is often a challenge. We can assist by
- Providing assistance in developing clear policies that meet both goals of safety and freedom.
- Assisting in staff development and training.
- Providing direct service for problematic residents/clients including behavioral and medical interventions.
- Coordinating with families and agency administrators to assess capacity to give consent for sexual contact