Monday, April 20, 2009

Guest column - A question for all: Do you doubt my puberty?

I came across this column by that title over at Planet of the Blind. It's concerned with disability and sexuality and is written by Ralph James Savarese, who is the author, with his son, of "Reasonable People: A Memoir of Autism and Adoption.

Here's an excerpt:

On the whole, we’ve come a long way from the incarceration, sterilization, and eugenics of the 20th century, but not far enough. The dream of full participation in life’s richness for those with cognitive differences remains just that: a dream. Who of us doesn’t want a job, a home and friends? Who of us doesn’t want a share of that sublime and affirming activity we call sex (or what my son at age 12 memorably termed “great feelings”)?

We need to stop behaving like hysterical Puritans and provide people with disabilities with rigorous sex education. Not only that but opportunities, even trained sexual facilitators, if need be. Kids with disabilities grow up. Let them look forward to what the rest of us look forward to. We can do this responsibly, ethically.

Read the full article here.