Sex And Health Education Of The Special Youth
Education system at school level provides for all round education of children and this includes not only their academic , sports, arts and technology areas but also sex education for the right age groups. All round education aims to equip children with the required knowledge on personal grooming and sex education to both boys and girls.
What do we understand about sex education? No guesses here. Of course we understand that the children will be introduced to the concept of sex and reproduction. Further they will be taught about safe sex methods and risks associated with unprotected sex etc. Normal sex education is sufficient for the normal children. However children with special needs and the looked after children will need a more specific and targeted sex health education program that is tailored for their specific needs.
When we refer to special children we are essentially referring to those children with physical and/ or mental disabilities. By ‘looked after children’ we mean those children who are being brought up in foster care and those who have been orphaned or do not live with their families etc. All of these children have different needs with regard to sex health education. Their background, their emotional state of mind as well as their needs do not confirm to those of the normal children. Children’s mind and emotions are shaped by their life experiences. The pain and suffering or trauma often contributes to their attitudes towards sex and relationships with others especially with members of the opposite sex. These groups would need extensive sex health as well as relationship management education.
Sex health education for the special group calls for tailor made instruction programs as well as training to the instructors and counselors who work with these groups. The education or training needs to take into account the specific background of the target group members. Young men and women who have been sexually abused in their childhood or have been exposed to sexual violence would require extensive counseling and therapy along with focus on self healing and relationship management to be taught along with the sex education. Children who have been exposed to drugs, alcohol and substance abuse will need focus on sex and health topics with specific reference to use of contraceptives and safe sex methods along with knowledge on family planning and lifecycle understanding. With children and youth who have been exposed to unhealthy circumstances , those who have suffered sexual abuse or been exposed to adult sex as well as those who have suffered from emotional and physical abuse will need comprehensive treatment combined with sex education in the form of therapy. They are likely to suffer from poor self esteem or psychological and behavioral problems. Such children will not be able to benefit from the normal sex education programs. It is important to first begin treatment of the child’s afflictions and slowly introduce the concepts of sexual health and relationship etc.
Designing and implementing sex health education program is usually taken up by the agencies at national level and incorporated through social services as well as community services through special social workers and counselors who have been specially trained for the purpose. Designing such programs calls for extensive research and team work by combined teams involving medical, psychiatric and other professionals.