Practical Access Podcast

S:2 E:12: Disability and sexuality education

June 02, 2020 Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash Season 2 Episode 12
Practical Access Podcast
S:2 E:12: Disability and sexuality education
Chapters
Practical Access Podcast
S:2 E:12: Disability and sexuality education
Jun 02, 2020 Season 2 Episode 12
Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash

NOTE: This podcast does contain explicit content respectfully related to the topic. Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker, UCF faculty, share their thoughts on questions posed by listeners related to life and disability.  In this episode, a special guest, Dr. Jillian Schreffler an expert on sexuality and disability provide practical ways for parents and teachers to talk about the topic of sexuality and sex education with their students or child.  We hope you listen carefully to Dr. Schreffler's advice on both helping our children or students understand their sexuality and to keep them safe. 


Show Notes Transcript

NOTE: This podcast does contain explicit content respectfully related to the topic. Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker, UCF faculty, share their thoughts on questions posed by listeners related to life and disability.  In this episode, a special guest, Dr. Jillian Schreffler an expert on sexuality and disability provide practical ways for parents and teachers to talk about the topic of sexuality and sex education with their students or child.  We hope you listen carefully to Dr. Schreffler's advice on both helping our children or students understand their sexuality and to keep them safe. 


Lisa Dieker:

Welcome to practical access. I'm Lisa Dieker.

Rebecca Hines:

And I'm Rebecca Hines. And Lisa, I understand that we have one of our favorite people and a really interesting topic today. What do we have queued up?

Lisa Dieker:

Well, I think we're gonna talk about this topic that most of us like to avoid puberty, sex ed, all of those things. And we do have an expert that we're going to let her introduce herself. It is our dear friend.

Jillian Schreffler:

Hello, everyone. I am Dr. Jillian Schreffler. And last year, I graduated from University of Central Florida with the program PhD in exceptional education. I am now a professor an assistant professor up in Connecticut at Sacred Heart University. And my research topic, one of my research topics is the sex education of those with disabilities.

Lisa Dieker:

So you know, you You did such a great job in studying a really difficult topic. And you know, we had many families ask you this question. So I'll kick it off with a really simple question. If there is something simple of puberty and disability talk to us about how do families and teachers deal with what can be complicated without a disability? And what do you what do you know,

Jillian Schreffler:

Yes, I mean, this is actually one of the questions I get most often when I'm asked to talk about this topic, because a lot of parents with children with disabilities don't know when to start the conversation. I mean, even parents with children without disabilities don't really know what to talk about, either. So a lot of times, the question is, What do I say? How do I say have a lot on their website advocates for youth is another great resource that you can use. And even just looking online, there are even national standards for sex that out there for people with disabilities. And you can even use that as a guideline.

Unknown:

Julian, I wanted to ask you and this is

Rebecca Hines:

coming out of left field for us. I can't wait to hear what you say. Yeah. So let's say I am the, you know, the parent of a young adult with with disabilities and maybe significant disabilities, but I am aware that my child has the same desires, you know, physically is everyone else. What what, how do I how do I navigate that? I realize again, I know that's a tricky question. to be like, they're not going to be like others in some ways. But to understand that there is a community to support you out there, I think is a very freeing thought that a lot of parents of children with disabilities don't realize is available to them.

Lisa Dieker:

Yeah, it's interesting. And I, I think the number one thing I always think about when I think of your great work, and I really do see see you as a national expert in this area, because it is a kind of an untapped area is the word snake, the word safe just comes to my mind over and over and over again. And you know, we tend to be very positive and uplifting. And this this podcast, but

Rebecca Hines:

Yes, I mean, unfortunately, in the United States, the idea of sex education is still a taboo form of conversation. You go many places in the world, and it's a very open conversation and an open dialogue. Whereas in the United States, it's one of those we kind of want to shove in a corner. Parents want teachers to talk about it, teachers want the parents to talk about it, nobody overwhelmed, they're like, wow, I never really thought that person would, you know, it never worked. occurred to me that this person might want a relationship, you know that the rest of us, of course all, you know, seek to have usually in our lifetime, so it was really eye opening in that way. What do we what do we tell kids? How do we help them to learn to navigate a relationship that we're

Lisa Dieker:

So I'm going to ask my last question for you. And again, you're welcome to say more. And you can of course, ask more questions with my personalized because it is, if you could, I'm going to get it really narrow. So a parent or teacher of a kindergartener, what's the one thing I should do?

Jillian Schreffler:

The one thing that I think you should do, especially at the kindergarten age is to understand your body is your own, to be able to say, Alright, this is my body. And understanding that, you know, there are certain aspects of your body that are considered private. It's not that you should be ashamed of them. But it's that you should be a ware of them. And that you know what, not

Lisa Dieker:

I forgot to tell you, it's a three part question. So now I've got a year old. Why would you tell me a 12? What's the one thing I should be doing? If I'm a parent, or a teacher? Hmm.

Jillian Schreffler:

So at 12, you really have to start being explicit in what you're saying. So at 12, again, they're really starting to get into their body, you're starting to hit the puberty age. So if your child feels the need to masturbate, where is an appropriate place to masturbate? If you say the bathroom with a closed door, is an appropriate place to masturbate. You have to understand what

Lisa Dieker:

And last part, I promise is pretty fun. Getting ready to either have guardianship forever, or let them going their own way. What's that one thing I should be saying?

Jillian Schreffler:

So at the age of 21, to me when they're starting to gain more independence is giving them the resources of where to go, if I need help, or I have questions. I'm letting them know that they can always come to their parents or their family or their community and ask questions if they have them. Because by this stage, hopefully, it's been instilled in them what is appropriate,

Lisa Dieker:

Thanks. Where were you when my child was born?

Jillian Schreffler:

Yeah. I was still in school.

Lisa Dieker:

Oh, Oh, come on.

Jillian Schreffler:

Yeah, absolutely. Not. I didn't say what school I just said I was in school.

Lisa Dieker:

So anyway, yeah. Yeah.

Rebecca Hines:

So Jillian, Can you remind us that was amazing and information, honestly, it's so good. Can you remind us again, one more time? I'm off on the resources, the key resources that are out there that are available for us as a parent or teacher? Absolutely. So I mentioned seekest, it's si E, Cu S, they have a lot of resources on their websites, advocates for youth has a lot of website

Lisa Dieker:

Great. Well, thank you so much. Any last words of wisdom you want teachers or families to know or enlighten Becky and I, I've learned a lot myself on this stuff. And yeah,

Jillian Schreffler:

I don't think so. I think just mainly go away with this from with the idea that you are not alone. You know, everybody, no matter what your child is, like, has these questions and it's okay to ask for help. Absolutely.

Lisa Dieker:

Well, thank you so much for joining us on practical access. And if you have any questions for us, we can also refer questions to Julian if you have them on a future podcast. Please send us a Tweet @accesspractical.

Jillian Schreffler:

Thank you guys.