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Let’s Start the Conversation: Sexuality and Developmental Disability How to...

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Online Workshop Series:

Let’s Start the Conversation:
Sexuality and Developmental Disability: How to Partner with Parents to Support Their Children

Parent and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities are their child’s primary educator, just like any parent. The difference with this group of parents is that they are often very concerned about their child being taken advantage of; or an unplanned pregnancy, and, some parents even find it hard to think of their child as a sexual being.

All of these concerns are legitimate and can make parents worried about how to communicate with their own child or having their child attend sexuality education classes.

This workshop will explore how to:

  • Work with parents to dispel any myths they have,

  • Help parents communicate about healthy relationships,

  • Answer their child’s questions,

  • Provide guidelines for direct support professionals

Although our goal may be to get parents’ buy in, we also need to respect their values and concerns and build our relationships so we can be their partners in supporting their child.

In addition to the workshop facilitator, we will have parents who have children with a developmental disability to add their perspective to this sensitive discussion.

Learning Objectives

Explore parent concerns and barriers

Examine multiple perspectives and ways to work in partnership

Examine what strategies work with interacting with parents

Discuss how to establish guidelines between parents and direct support provider



This is a 90-minute online workshop for anyone who works with parents, professionals, self-advocates, etc.

We use a video conference platform (Ring Central, powered by Zoom) to deliver the workshop. There will be opportunity for questions and live engagement with the instructors.

Workshop Date: September 19, 2019 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm eastern time (please note your time zone)

Access Instructions: After you register you will get a confirmation email with instructions on how to access the workshop. You must have a stable internet connection to join, or you can call in via phone.


Workshop led by:

Katherine McLaughlin, M.Ed., CSE is a national expert and trains individuals, staff, and parents on sexuality and developmental disabilities. She teaches sexuality education to people with DD/ID as well as trains them to be peer sexuality educators themselves. Katherine is the author of an agency and school curriculum: Sexuality Education for People with Developmental Disabilities, and has developed two online courses; one to train professionals, Developmental Disability and Sexuality 101, and one for parents: Talking to Your Kids: Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality. Katherine has spent her career trying to elevate the status of all people, which is why the new name for her growing company is Elevatus Training.

Elizabeth Solá has 25 years of experiences working with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities as a bilingual special educator from early intervention to preschool and more recently collaborating on grass roots efforts to create inclusive opportunities for self-determined adults. She is also the parent of a young adult on the autism spectrum understands the importance of partnering with other parents to ‘start the conversation’ about healthy relationships and sexuality education.

Laura H. Pace, MS, LMT is Health Educator, Wellness Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist. Over the last decade she has taught several college courses in NH, MA, and NY, and currently teaches Healthy Relationships and Human Sexuality for people with intellectual disabilities. Laura is the owner of All Ability Wellness, LLC in East Setauket, NY where she provides individual and small group health education community classes. As the parent of a child with special needs, Laura is devoted to health promotion and disease prevention by educating and supporting all of the families she works with.

Wanda Douglas, CPSP is a Nationally Certified Trainer and a Nationally Certified Family Support Provider. She currently works with North Carolina Families United, a Statewide Family-Run Organization as a Family Partner Coordinator and Trainer. As a part of the work she does with System of Care, she partners with the local MCO and various Child-Serving Organizations. Her passion for advocacy began as a result of working with youth with special health care needs (I/DD; Autism) and youth who were displaced from their home of origin and placed into Foster Care. To build on the foundation of trauma focused care in our local community, she partners and delivers multiple Evidence-based and Promising Practice Trainings (Mental Health First Aid, QPR, CRM,Trauma/Resilience/ACE’s, Intimacy and Healthy Sexuality, etc) to various child-serving agencies and individuals including schools, child welfare, Juvenile justice, mental health professionals, law enforcement, social workers, foster parents, youth and families. Wanda attended Tuskegee Institute and More Than Conqueror’s College and has a degree in Christian Ministry. She is married with three children.





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