Q33: Adventures in the Mainstream

Q 33)

 “I’ve heard far too many people tell my son and his parents how “cute” it is that he has a girlfriend.  Ned’s a twenty-two-year-old man.  He may be part of a cute couple, but there’s nothing cute about his desires.  They are strong, and adult, and they aren’t going away.  His sexuality can’t be diminished or dismissed just because he has Down syndrome, or because he may never know the physical part of love.  Far too many people have the mistaken idea that people with mental retardation are scary, oversexed, predatory creatures.  They conjure up televised mug shots of drooling predators and don’t know, or want to know, about people like Cyndy and Rod, the married couple with Down syndrome I mentioned before.  But all of the adults with mental retardation I know are like all of the other adults I know.  They want warmth and tenderness in their lives.  They want someone to share those lives with.  They just want to someone to love who will love them.” pp 178-179


It can be a delicate balance, trying to deal with our loved ones as sexual beings, and all that involves.  How do you handle issues of sexuality?  Does your loved one have a significant other?  What concerns do you have in this area?

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