Comprehensive Sexual Health Education

This program is tailored to the learning strengths, specific needs, and innermost wishes of folks with Down syndrome of all ages. It endeavours to empower them to have safe, healthy, and pleasurable relationships with themselves, their bodies, and others. Sessions can include their families, caregivers, and support staff and start in early childhood and continue throughout their lifespan. An early start builds a foundation of openness and self-value. We want people with Down syndrome to feel good about their bodies, relationships, and identities. This program is also valuable so families can understand how to support them in often confusing, embarrassing, or awkward subjects. 

Any age is a great age to learn about sexuality and sexual health. These topics are broad and include but are not limited to:

Our Bodies

  • Names and functions of body parts
  • Hygiene
  • Puberty
  • Pregnancy and conception

Our Identities

  • Self-esteem, emotions, and body image
  • Down syndrome and what it means to me
  • Gender (gender roles, gender expectations, and gender identity)
  • Romantic and sexual attraction
  • Platonic and aromantic attraction
  • Media and social media  

Our Relationships 

  • Social skills for friendships
  • Setting and maintaining boundaries
  • Consent

Safety and Abuse Prevention

  • Secrets vs surprises
  • Public vs private
  • Healthy vs unhealthy relationships 

For teens and adults, additional topics may include:

  • Crushes, dating, and relationships
  • Sexual experiences including fantasies, touch, intimacy, and love
  • Healthy and safe decision making
  • Sexually explicit material

Payment Policy

Families should inquire if a program offers financial assistance or if they qualify for funding (e.g. Variety, CKNW, At Home Program) at the time of registration. Financial assistance allocation is at the sole discretion of the DSRF. Families not part of a funding program (such as the Autism Funding Unit or the At Home Program) are required to pay the full fee of the session. Sessions are billed once monthly. Depending on the funding model, you will receive an invoice for any monies owing and/ or organizations will be billed directly. You must pay in order to ensure continuity of services.

Cancellation Policy

Non-emergency cancellations require 24 hours’ notice. Non-emergencies include vacations, preplanned medical appointments, family events, school events, parties, sports events, lack of childcare, or anything that is not designated as “emergency.” The session must be cancelled at least 24 hours before the appointment. Sessions that are not cancelled with 24 hours’ notice will be billed at the full rate.

Client Agreement: Group Programs

Tuition Fees

Families have the option to pay the full fee at time of registration or pay the first month fee and provide post-dated cheques or credit card information for a monthly payment schedule, as outlined on the payment information form. Program withdrawals for group yearly programs must be made by September 30th and are subject to one month’s fee and a $150 administration fee. After September 30th, program fees are non-refundable

Student Progress

Informal assessments are used to evaluate students’ progress.  This information, along with regular communication with parents, is used to set individual and group program goals.

For more information on policies of specific programs or for any questions please contact Eleanor Stewart at 604-444-3773 x111 or eleanor@dsrf.org.