Dating service for down syndrome adults
“How do I support her with severe communication delays? Will I do it myself or get someone to support her dates?
” Hawe asks herself and is still in the process of figuring out the answers, balancing her desire for Sophia to have independence but also get the support she needs.
Parents of teens and young adults with disabilities do, however, have a role to play in preparing them to enter the world of dating and relationships.
Parents can start by learning about the barriers teens and young adults with disabilities encounter as they seek out romantic relationships.
He describes himself as a complete paraplegic who does not have any sensation in or control over his lower body.
One challenge he faces in the dating world is an educational barrier.
Natalia Hawe, who serves on the board of directors of the Foothill Autism Alliance, anticipates challenges when her 13-year-old daughter, Sophia, starts dating.
Sophia is nonverbal and needs a high level of support.
“In high school, I ran with the popular crowd and I played sports. But on the flip side, I’m much shorter than normal, so that would cut against me.
Sources of Support And there are local sources of support.
Laugeson’s PEERS program includes 90-minute sessions where students with developmental disabilities learn a series of social “do’s and don’ts.” The program does not focus exclusively on dating but instead teaches behaviors that are naturally used by teens and young adults who are socially successful.
PHOTO COURTESY JOHNNY WANG He started “being open with the fact that I’m in my wheelchair, both in my photos and the profile bio itself,” he says.
“I’ll usually include positive language like, ‘Don’t let the wheelchair stop you from saying hi.’’” When Wang shared the information about his disability on his profile, he found that he got roughly the same number of dates – not what he expected.
When there is going to be intimacy, he wants a light on so he can get feedback on what his partner wants and feels comfortable with, but some people find that awkward.