A sexualidade como aspecto inclusivo : uma proposta de intervenção para pais e professores de jovens com deficiência mental
Albuquerque, Paloma Pegolo de
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The matter of sexuality in mental retardation still generates mistakes and prejudices. Parents and teachers, for example, often find difficulties over this subject, depriving people with mental retardation of having effective access to sexual orientation and, therefore, of reaching more autonomy and personal fulfillment. This work had as main objective to investigate what parents and teachers think about the sexuality of their sons and daughters as well as students with mental retardation, aiming to draw and introduce an intervention proposal. First of all, 17 parents and 23 teachers from one special school were interviewed with regards to picking necessary information to subsequent intervention. It was aimed, by means of a semi-structured interview script made by the researcher, to know more about the participants viewpoints and opinions about issues related to sexuality in general, to sexuality in mental retardation and to sexual education/orientation behavior towards their children/students, as well as their main needs and doubts. Then, a course named "Sexuality and mental retardation" was offered to two groups of participants: one for parents and other for teachers. The course was carried out on weekly meetings, summing up eight meetings with each group (two months on the whole). Such meetings had a theoretical part and moments to discuss the difficulties and needs related by participants, with discussions, dynamics, role-playing and problem-solving activities, movies and others. After the intervention, new interviews with the parents and teachers were made to check the effects of it. The qualitative analysis of the results was made based on information got in pre- and post-intervention and on the assessment of the questionnaire results about the course answered by the participants, that were grouped in categories; besides, all practical activities taken in the course were described and analyzed, like the Instrument for registration of sexual behaviors of children/students and the Activity in class for teachers. Some signs of changes in the participants' opinion were noticed, like an enlargement of reflections about the sexuality - mental retardation subject, and a perception of the importance of sexuality in the lives of people with mental retardation, as well as a greater attention and respect for their emotional-sexual interest and needs. Some attitude changes were also noticed, like a predisposition to act the right way when facing sexuality-related situations by means of a greater questioning of their role in this process; as well as an increase in confidence and preparation to deal with the subject. Besides, we noticed some behavior changes regarding sexual orientation, like an increase in dialogue about sexuality. Nevertheless, given the needs and difficulties presented by the populations of parents and teachers of people with mental retardation, new studies in the area are still recommended.