Relationships and sexual health for young people with SEND
Relationships and sex are an important part of everyone’s life, including people with disabilities.
Each relationship will be different, some will be healthy and will make you feel good about yourself, whilst others can go wrong along the way and may make you feel uncomfortable, unhappy or even scared.
It is important to stay safe, especially if you are worried or feel that a relationship may be going wrong. You can read about healthy relationships and where to go for more advice on our safeguarding website.
Unity is the specialist sexual health service covering South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset. Unity provides free STI testing and treatment, contraception and pregnancy advice as well as other services and information, which can be found on their website or call them 0117 342 6900
Brook Young People is a charity promoting sexual health and wellbeing for under 25s. They have a lot of useful help and advice. They have articles about a wide range of subjects relevant to young people around relationships and sex and also have a walk in service in the centre of Bristol.
Contact, a national charity has produced a guide that explains about growing up, making friends, sex and developing relationships when you have a disability. They have also developed a parent carer guide on how they can help and support you.
There are also several local groups you can contact for further information and advice.
NSPCC learning produce an excellent resource package called Love Life. These education materials are designed to enabled parents, carers and professionals engage young people aged 11 to 25 in conversation and discussion about; feelings, privacy and boundaries, friendship, different kinds of love, and online safety. There are 3 helpful videos and tips to help you structure conversations.
Luv2meetU is a friendship and dating agency for people with a learning disability aged 18 and over. Run by Hft charity they can support you to make friends, share interests and develop relationships.
There are many other resources that are not local but are very helpful.
Easyhealth is a website that has accessible health information that uses easy words with pictures. They have a collection of online sex and relationships leaflets in an easy read format.
Mencap have a web page dedicated to sexuality and relationships advice and support for people with Learning Difficulties, with downloads and frequently asked questions.
Scope has articles that can help you with talking about intimacy, sex and relationships.
Thinkuknow is a UK education programme to help protect children both online and offline. They have information on sex, relationships and the internet aimed at keeping young people well informed and safe. They also have a question and answer section.
Books beyond words have books for people who find pictures easier than words. They have books on many subjects including lifestyle and relationships with titles such as making friends, falling in love, loving each other safely and how to speak out about abuse.
You may be in a relationship where you feel manipulated to do things that you do not want to.
This may be a relationship that started off wrong or it may have started as a loving relationship, where someone is very kind and treats you in a very grown up way but then it changes, and you may feel unsafe or threatened. This can happen both online and in person.
If someone pressures you to do something sexual or to have sex it is wrong. It is never right in any circumstances.
If you feel this way, is important that you talk to a professional or adult you trust as soon as you can.
You can find out more about what you can do if this affects you on these website pages.