“There’s no need to laugh. Isn’t this a normal subject?” People with learning disabilities talking about sex and relationships

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People with learning disabilities need to be able to talk about sexuality, sex and relationships, but often this opportunity is denied or is heavily influenced by existing social and cultural norms.

In this, her debut blog, Michelle Gregory looks at a paper which reports on how one self advocacy group tackled this issue and how they disseminated their findings.

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Relationship training for children and family practitioners: does it work?

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Martin Webber looks at a rare social work randomised controlled trial (RCT) on relationship training for practitioners working with children and families and finds that even findings from a study using ‘gold standard’ research methodology have to be carefully examined for reliability.

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People with learning disabilities need more emotional and practical support to make and keep friendships

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Friendships and relationships are usually the things that most people will say are important to them in describing their quality of life. Many people with learning disabilities however have very limited opportunities to meet and make friends. The people in their social networks may be family members, or people who are paid to support them. [read the full story…]

Small practical steps may offer best way to reach consensus on relationship and sexuality education for people with learning disabilities

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National policy in the UK regarding supporting people with learning disabilities has focused on personalising support, improving social inclusion and the removal of obstacles relating to access to education, employment, healthcare and housing. The authors of the current study suggest that there has been significant progress in these areas, but when looking at the area [read the full story…]

Awareness of sexuality as part of identity has not changed restrictive attitudes in services for people with learning disabilities

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This review of the literature set out to summarise the current status of knowledge and clinical practice in the area of relationships and sexuality for people with learning disabilities, which the review authors describe as an area that is complex and challenging. Services for people with learning disabilities have undergone a move towards personalisation, person-centred [read the full story…]