One concern we have had for our son is being the victim of any form of ABUSE. For 2 years, our 6 years old son, has participated in a 'good touch' vs 'bad touch' program. Yes, our children with developmental disabilities can be taught about their 'personal space', 'private parts' and similar personal topics. Think about it... If we are 'trying' to teach them Communication, Socialization and Behavioral Skills (along with the ABC's and the 123s), why not also train them in Self Awareness, Personal Safety and Privacy issues.
Thus, every school year, we enroll our son in P.A.L.S. 'Play And Learn Social Skills' which is an after school, after care, at school Social Skills development/ enhancement program. P.A.L.S. pairs our son with a 'Peer Buddy'. by the way, much ABUSIVE situations occur in social environments when the average person is ' guard' and only primarily thinking about the event. Additionally, P.A.L.S. incorporates video modeling via "Model Me Kids". Also, P.A.L.S. trains our son in 'good touch' vs. 'bad touch' through the 'Talk About Touch' and 'Second Step Curriculum' of the 'Committee for Children'.
As Parents, Caregivers, and Advocates of children with developmental disabilities (any disability/ special need), we must be mindful that ABUSE Awareness, Intervention and Prevention is a daily threat to our kids.
Why? Just as with bullying, children with disabilities are disproportionately teased, harassed, beat up, taunted. THEY are the targets of Abuse.
Child Predators and their Enablers and Conspirators of Silence are not impartial to kids with special needs. Evil people commit evil acts against whomever they deem 'easy prey' or 'preferred targets'!
In light of the Penn State University (alleged) system-wide Child Abuse-Sex Scandal,
let's teach our kids with special needs about 'good touch' vs. 'bad touch'. Let's train them in how to respond to abusers. Let's talk to them about expressing any type of ABUSE they might possibly encounter.
"PRAYING & Hoping for a Good, Productive and Enjoyable School Year :-)"
The Cosse' Family
References & Resources
Aspergers Social Skills Group:
-Caron Starobin, LCSW-C, Group Therapist for boys with Aspergers
Disability News & Views Radio Show
ABA Therapy Team:
-Karen Hofferber, Texas
to prevent bullying,
violence, and child abuse
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