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An article in several papers today concerns a Mum who wants to support her son,Otto, to have a sex life. She goes so far to say that she would not rule out supporting him to visit a prostitute. Their story will be featured on Real Stories on BBC3 on Thursday. What do you think about this? Have you been in a similar position? What have you done to support your son or daughter to have relationships?
Whilst I fully agree that people with learning disabilities should be fully supported in any need they have, I was absoluted horrified by how poor Otto had his photo and personal details spread across newspapers and gossip magazines. Would the woman have got away with doing that to a "normal" son? I don't think so! I was equally horrified that his mother was quoted as saying she didn't want him to marry a woman with Down's as she didn't want an institutionalised daughter-in-law! How insulting is that! She may well have her son's interests at heart but I believe she's misguided and has set the cause back, not forward, in letting the world believe that the personal lives of the disabled can be manipulated and abused in this way. They have a right to privacy and respect. I very much hope that my daughter will find a special, fulfilling relationship, and that if and when she is ready for a relationship she will receive whatever support she needs, including top-rate health care and contraceptive advice, but heaven forbid she should have her private needs made public. I also hope she doesn't end up with a mother-in-law who thinks it's fair game to use vulnerable people to get their five minutes of fame.
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