Teens with cerebral palsy often face unique challenges when it comes to developing intimate relationships and exploring their sexuality. Physical limitations can make it difficult for them to engage in sexual activities, and they may have less sexual experience than their healthy peers. It is known that pubescent physical development in children with cerebral palsy begins earlier and ends later than in those without the condition. However, there is still much to learn about the sexual functions and physical problems that these young adults may experience during sexual intercourse. Sexuality is a normal part of growth and development, and young people with disabilities have the same right to education about it as those without disabilities.
It is important to modify the program to allow information to be understood and learned in a way that is meaningful to them. In peer groups, there is much to learn and share when it comes to dating and sexual experiences. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are often seen as children, and there is limited space in the dating world for those who look different or don't follow all social norms. A small percentage of Internet users have sexual fetishes that focus primarily on the bodies of people with disabilities. This can make it difficult for those with cerebral palsy to find meaningful relationships. It can also be hard for young people to talk about sexuality with their parents, especially if their parents don't feel comfortable discussing the topic either.
During the transition phase, young people must learn to understand their bodies, their illnesses and their limitations, as well as ask for help. They must also learn to balance all aspects of their lives, including fundamental and secondary needs. Fortunately, times are changing and more and more people with disabilities are getting involved in relationships, getting married and having children. It is the professional's responsibility to raise this topic so that young people can learn about intimacy and sexuality in a safe environment. Once they find the right support and develop a system, living together can strengthen their relationship and deepen their shared history. These events could increase the belief that people with disabilities have uncontrollable impulses, when the reality is that they need education and skills.
It is important for young people with cerebral palsy to know that they have the same rights as everyone else when it comes to exploring intimacy and sexuality.