Sexuality education is the way to plan for this aspect of adulthood as it applies to independence in educational, social, residential and vocational settings.

Children with Down syndrome experience the same sequence of physical and hormonal changes associated with puberty as other children their age.

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In fact, all people with Down syndrome have sexual feelings and intimacy needs.

It is important that expression of these feelings in socially acceptable, age appropriate ways be recognized by families and caregivers.

DSi is a global network comprising a membership of individuals and organisations from all over the world, committed to improving quality of life for people with Down syndrome worldwide and promoting their inherent right to be accepted and included as valued and equal members of their communities.

Dating is a challenge for most people, but when you have Down syndrome, it can be extremely difficult finding that special someone.

Sex education, appropriate for the developmental level and intellectual attainment of individuals with Down syndrome, adds to life quality by engendering healthy sexuality, reducing the risk of sexual abuse, avoiding sexual misunderstandings, preventing disease transmission, preventing unwanted pregnancy and alleviating other problems related to sexual function.

In the past, sexuality was not considered an issue for any people with Down syndrome because of the inaccurate belief that intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation) produced permanent childhood.

Any adolescent who lives in the community, attends school and is exposed to media inevitably develops an awareness of sexuality.

Teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome often express interest in dating, marriage and parenthood.

You can also find people to chat online with, and even find friends.

Sometimes it can be lonely hanging out at home on the weekend, so finding friends online is a great way to get out of the house.

However, there is often a lag in the development of social maturity, emotional self control, social communication, abstract thinking and problem solving abilities.