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‘She misses the subtleties and I have to help – help to make the invisible visible’: parents’ role in supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with intimate relationships

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People with intellectual and developmental disabilities often need support to develop and maintain intimate relationships; however, little is known regarding the role of family carers in this area. Focus groups were conducted with 19 family members to explore the support they provide to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find a potential partner and any support they may have to provide to support/develop an existing relationship. Family members provided similar support in this area as support staff, including both practical and emotional support. More needs to be done to support the family members providing this support, such as access to specialist resources and advice, as well as facilitated opportunities to discuss concerns.
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Keywords: learning disabilities; parents; relationships; sexuality

Affiliations: 1: University of Kent, UK 2: University of Bath, UK

Appeared or available online: January 19, 2021

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