Teens with Down syndrome today enjoy many of the same community activities as their typically-developing peers. In this environment, there is an increased opportunity for intimacy and sexual relationships. Teens with Down syndrome need accurate information about intimacy and sexuality, presented in an open manner that is comprehensible and relevant for the individual. Adolescents with Down syndrome need the same type of information as their non-disabled peers about issues such as conception, contraception, sexually-transmitted disease, and sexual abuse. However, its important to tailor the information to the learning style of the teen with disabilities, to factor in the values and wishes of the parents, and to allow opportunity for questioning and open discussion. Within the limitations and context of the teens living arrangement, decisions need to be made about the extent of intimate relationships.
For more on "Issues of Sexuality in Down Syndrome" please click here for an article by Dr. Van Dyke.