My approach to closing the intimacy gap in habilitation and rehabilitation is to help people achieve the following objectives:
● Learn about expected physical, emotional, and biological changes associated with their condition as related to relationships and intimacy.
● Develop healthy attitudes and values about growth and development, body image, gender roles, racial and ethnic diversity, among other subjects.
● Promote self-esteem and positive interpersonal skills focusing on relationship dynamics, including, but not limited to, friendships, dating, romantic involvement, marriage and family interactions.
● Develop and practice healthy life skills including goal-setting, decision making, negotiation, communication, and stress management.
● Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure and protect their sexual and reproductive health throughout their lifespan.
● Develop skills to make responsible decisions about sexuality, including how to avoid unwanted verbal, physical, and sexual advances and how not to make unwanted verbal, physical, and sexual advances.
● Learn that becoming a parent is a right, if they chose and that there is not increased risk for them having a child with a disability compared with the general population.
● Develop parenting skills and establish a support system to assist with parenting.
● Increase awareness of how alcohol and drug use can affect responsible decision-making.