Special Needs and Body Safety
WHAT THE DATA SAYS:
The vulnerability of children with special needs makes them the ideal predator target. They are perfect prey because they may not understand what is happening, know to speak up or have the communication skills to do so.
Children with intellectual disability are also at risk of being sexually abused. A study of approximately 55,000 children in Nebraska found that children with intellectual disability were 4.0 times as likely as children without disabilities to be sexually abused. (Sullivan & Knutson)
Helping children with special needs stay safe from unsafe touch must include:
- Social stories
- Simplified and adapted hands-on materials
- Communication Supports – This allows students with special needs to learn about the dangers of abuse.
- Songs and Stories – Using repetition and familiar language help students differentiate between safe and unsafe touch while it simplifies the concepts for understanding and retention.
To learn more about the Be Seen and Heard© Program for Students with Special Needs, click here.