Sexuality, Puberty … Health and Hygiene … A discussion
Barbara Laird, BEd., Educational Consultant
The preparedness around health, hygiene, puberty and life as a sexual adult begins at birth. Puberty is only one facet of sexuality.It also involves our behaviours, our interactions and relationships with others, understanding boundaries, body awareness and the concepts of public and private. Health and Hygiene issues and their routines, can also present huge challenges at any age. For persons with developmental disabilities much of the information needs to be taught over longer time periods and through more directed and modified teaching. We will talk about educational strategies that work well with this population and strategies and behaviours that will help keep our children safe.
Barbara Laird is the parent of a daughter with Down syndrome and recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for the many years she spent advocating for the rights of special needs children and adults across Canada and the United States. Barbara, as a teacher, has been a passionate promoter of inclusive education. She is a founding member and past board member of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation and Steps Forward Inclusive Post Secondary Education Society.
In 2009 Barbara was honored to win the Champion of Inclusive Education Award from the Canadian Living Association and the B.C. Community Living Association for her service, support and advocacy for Inclusive Education in preschool, elementary, secondary and post secondary institutions. Barbara served for many years on the Special Education Advisory Committee of the Vancouver School Board. She has been involved in planning the Health and Wellbeing in Children, Youth and Adults with Developmental Disabilities Conference over the past four years. Barbara has helped many families access services and acts as an unpaid advocate for countless individuals in need. Her commitment to, and work for, inclusion, understanding and services, particularly for people with Down Syndrome, is outstanding.
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