A great way to teach sexuality to students with disabilities is through technology. This would be because it is much more interactive and helps keep their attention. Children with special learning needs often have a difficult time in the classroom absorbing the material (Wilson, Brice, Carter, Fleming, Hay, Hicks, & ... Weaver, 2011). In addition to their struggle, teachers find it difficult to adapt all lesson plans to meet their needs, and with the growing classroom sizes, it's becoming an increasingly overwhelming problem.
Using technology permits these students to use various forms of technology to view and experience the world in ways that might normally be too dangerous for them or too expensive to access. One great source for being able to view a body and being able to play with it virtually would be www.innerbody.com because of the interactive attribute of the cite (Innerbody.com, 2013). You are able to scroll over different words and the picture will change to show what is being discussed. This would be great for some middle school and high school students since it does not only go into depth on the reproductive anatomy, but other more complicated functions as well. The student is able to click on individual parts of the body to get a closer look and then have a description of each one.
The descriptions are not overly detailed, so it is not to overwhelm the student that is trying to learn. The one critique I would have about the site is the advertisements. It is a bit of a distraction. So if the teacher is able to figure out how to get rid of them, it would be a perfect classroom tool for the students that need more of a solid example instead of having to think of everything in abstract.
It should be fairly simple to come up with a lesson plan for each system, particularly the reproductive system. Students could spend the first 10 minutes of class exploring and becoming familiar with the site and how it works, and then the teacher can start instruction. This could include a virtual "treasure hunt" where the students have to follow clues and answer questions based on what is on the cite, or the teacher could keep it much more instructional and concrete for the students, depending on the severity of their learning needs.
Many students that have disabilities are already familiar with technology and it has helped improve their daily lives (Wilson, et al., 2011). Thus, implementing technology in the classroom should not be too complicated or scare the teacher. The job of the teacher will to become very familiar with it, just as much if not more so than the students, and to double check that the website is running properly that day.
Wilson, C. H., Brice, C., Carter, E. I., Fleming, J. C., Hay, D. D., Hicks, J. D., & ... Weaver, J. (2011). Familiar Technology Promotes Academic Success for Students with Exceptional Learning Needs. Online Submission,
Innerbody.com (2013). HowToMedia, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.innerbody.com/
Hyperlinks to supplementary materials:
Teen Health articles-there is audio to read the article to the student that has reading difficulties