Adolescence is a challenging time for many youth and those with developmental disabilities face even greater challenges. Sexual maturation, decision making, risk mitigation, substance use experimentation and growing independence may test the youth and their parents. Anticipatory guidance for parenting youth will be emphasized in addition to preventive efforts to encourage improved decision making and prevention of harmful behaviors. Youth with developmental disabilities may have issues of impulse control, self esteem and sexual curiosity similar to their peers. However, peer pressure can place them at higher risk for exploitation and substance use disorders. This program will address adolescent sexuality (Dr Copeland) and substance use issues (Dr Dekker) concentrating on positive interventions and signs of risk. Parental anticipatory guidance and progressive independence to improve decision making and development of adult activities with responsible and safer outcomes will be discussed.
Key Learning Outcomes
1. Participants will understand, describe, demonstrate an understanding of adolescent development and it relation to sexual decision making and substance use exposure
2. Participants will understand, describe, demonstrate cognizance of ongoing communication in adolescence and physical and emotional maturation in youth with developmental disabilities.