“Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.” These lyrics by the legendary rap group, Salt –n-Pepa, say it all. Our brothers and sisters with developmental disabilities are adults and engage in adult activities. So, how do we handle this or help them make informed decisions? Well, I do not claim to have the answer to this question but I will share with you how our family handled this situation when it was presented.
When Plato was around 21, he became friends with a young, single mother with two children. She would often call Plato to come over to her house to baby sit her children, take her to the grocery store, help take the children to the doctor’s office, etc. Well, one day she called him over to her house and when she answered the door. The kids were gone and she came to the door without any clothes on. My brother did not know what to make of this. So, he leaves her standing there naked and heads home. When he gets home he come in the house and asks us, “Why Susan would answer the door without clothes on? What logical reason would lead her to do that? “ We laughed a little under our breath and told him that,” Susan probably wanted to take their relationship to the next level and her answering the door that way was probably her way of seducing him.” We explained to him how to use a condom, to always let the woman make the first move, and to always stop when the woman said “no” or “stop”.
We never knew if Susan gave him a second chance but they remained good friend to this day. Susan moved to the state of Washington but her children, now grown, often call Plato or come to visit him. Well, so far we have not had to deal with Plato fathering any children or having any sexual transmitted diseases. We did have to deal with prostitutes offering him services but we told him that most women that do that have some type of sexually transmitted disease or that it was a waste of his money. He has always been good at following directions and hates spending money so I doubt if he has engaged in that type of venture.
At one time in this nation’s history certain states sterilized people with developmental disabilities. This action was wrong and robbed many individuals of their reproductive rights.
Ok, now what about the adult siblings out there? Do you have any suggestions on how to handle this topic?