Sunday, January 4, 2009

Looking For Love

I wrote last week about my concerns for my daughter, Jessica, finding a job. I am also concerned about Jess finding love.

Jessica is 18 years old, and quite interested in the opposite sex. She always has been, but as a young child we attributed her extreme interest to her diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder. One of the symptoms of RAD is sexually provocative behavior at a young age. But now her interest is different.

The objects of Jess’s attention are boys her own age rather than men that are much older and in roles of authority. She seems genuinely interested in developing an age-appropriate relationship, dating and eventually falling in love. My concern arises because Jess’s cognitive age is more that of a 6-7 year old.

How do I ensure that she is not taken advantage of by a boy that is her age chronologically but much older cognitively? How do I help her understand what things are appropriate and what things aren’t? How do I explain a healthy sexual relationship to someone who is essentially 6-7 years old?

I want Jessica to fall in love, get married, and have children if that is her dream. But I don’t have a clue how to help her realize that dream. She doesn’t even seem to understand the biology of her body although I and her teachers have worked for years to help her understand. And as I mentioned in my earlier post, I don’t know how her aggressive outbursts will allow for a close relationship, when in fact, the outbursts get worse as she gets closer emotionally to people.

I know these issues must have been tackled by many others, and it is their advice I am seeking. Or, if anyone is aware of other resources that might help Jessica with these issues, please let me know.

1 comment:

Lily said...

Have you heard of "circles" it is a series of classes that you can teach your child about acceptable social/sexual behavior. It is for individuals that are developmentally delayed. I've heard about it at conferences and have wanted to teach Lily, but of course haven't yet!