The My Life My Body Course
Healthy relationships, social skills, appropriate touching, consent, boundaries…these are all complex topics.
Teaching neuro diverse individuals in our care to navigate them can feel overwhelming and sometimes impossible.
But helping them to succeed is one of the best things we can do to set them up for a life of human connection in which they can thrive and feel healthy, supported, and fulfilled.
In the My Life My Body course, we’ll cover everything you need to know to confidently support those in your care in building healthy relationships, learning important social skills, and staying safe.
By supporting those in our care through education and open conversations around boundaries, consent, and healthy relationships, we increase their capacity to form invaluable connections and decrease their risk of abuse.
The training series offers eight modules that are full of learning, dispel myths, and offer practical tools you can start using right now:
Human sexuality in everyday life
The role of the support worker in addressing sexuality issues and questions
Supporting clients and family to make friends
The language of sexual identity
Preparing clients and family members for puberty
Supporting clients and family members in relationships
Module 1: Sexuality in Everyday Life
Forming friendships, creating connection, and staying safe all starts with understanding appropriate behaviour and boundaries.
Consent, how and when to say no, respecting choices, and healthy relationships are all skills that we need to use in our day-to-day lives.
In this online workshop, you will get the tools to teach these complex topics to clients and family members with intellectual disabilities. We will cover:
The basics of human sexuality
Myths about sexuality and disability
The range of topics of sexuality from gender and sexual orientation to puberty and sexual health.
Module 2: The Ethics of Touch
Touch is an important part of being human.
We use it to connect, to communicate, and to calm.
Knowing what touch is acceptable and appropriate is an important social skill that can be a challenge for individuals with intellectual disabilities to master on their own.
Family and support workers have a big role to play in modeling and teaching appropriate touch in day-to-day interactions.
This module provides you with tools and information to confidently teach and model personal boundaries and healthy touch to your clients and family members.
Module 3: Q&A The Role of The Support Worker
How do you answer questions about bodies and sex from clients?
When and how do you involve parents and family in sexuality issues?
Where do you get help to address sexuality behaviours, deal with a pregnancy, or manage a sexually transmitted infection?
How do you handle these situations with care, positivity, and support?
In this course module, we’ll cover the basics of how to respond to questions from clients, how to engage families and where to get support when you need it.
Module 4: Abuse Prevention
People with intellectual disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate more than seven times that for people without disabilities.
Intellectual disabled women are among the most sexually abused population in the world.
How can we protect these individuals?
This course module covers the five things our clients and family members should know when it comes to preventing abuse, how to recognize signs of abuse, and what to do about it if it happens.
Module 5: Preparing Kids and Clients for Puberty
Puberty - it happens to everyBODY. It's a challenging time full of hormones, emotions, and lots and lots of changes.
Teaching children about puberty decreases the risk of developing low self-esteem and the risk of abuse and exploitation.
When we feel comfortable in our bodies and in what is happening to them, we are set up for greater success.
But approaching the topic of puberty can feel overwhelming. You may not feel sure how to talk to your kids/clients about the changes that are coming. You may feel unsure about WHEN to tackle the talk.
This course module covers all you need to know to approach the topic with confidence. We cover:
the best ages to have the puberty talk no matter what a person's intellectual ability
a four-point system for answering questions in a positive and shame-free manner
the basics of puberty and where to get the information you need.
Module 6: Make a Friend, Be a Friend
Loneliness increases our risk of early death by 50%, and we are more likely to experience depression and anxiety.
Strong and vibrant friendships are important for all human beings – as much so for those with intellectual disabilities as for those without.
As support workers and parents, it’s left to us to support our clients and adult children in building their social circles and in gaining the skills they need to have healthy connections and friendships.
In this module, we’ll cover:
the 10 skills of likability and their role in successful friendships
strategies for supporting clients and family members to build true, genuine friendships with their peers
Module 7: Sexuality and Identity - How to Talk About It
A healthy sense of identity is a key part of having positive self-esteem and the ability to build friendships in the world.
Our identity is made up of many things, and there are aspects that we all struggle with. In particular, those aspects of our identity connected with sexuality can be challenging for us. This struggle can affect our ability to find happiness and fulfillment in life.
For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a lack of skills in understanding and navigating the complex inner worlds of self and sexuality can leave them feeling at odds with their identities.
In this module, you will learn skills and add resources to your toolkit to help support clients and family members in exploring sexuality and the self no matter their age.
Module 8: Dating and Relationships - Planning for Success
Crushes, dating, and relationships. These topics can be scary even for neurotypical families.
Our clients and family members who are neuro diverse have natural human urges and desires just like the rest of us.
What do you do when your child talks about a desire to be married or have children in the future? How do you manage crushes and relationships between clients? How do you address unrealistic expectations about love and romance that are created by movies and books?
In this module, we will explore the role of family members and staff in supporting clients to develop realistic expectations about love and relationships and strategies for working together to find what is possible and create a plan for success.