Practice to make a difference.

Developing Personal Safety Skills in Children with Disabilities

Although child protection has become a major issue, the abuse of children with disabilities has been largely ignored. International research shows that this group of children is at greatest risk from all forms of maltreatment. However, the needs of children with disabilities are not being met - first, because these children are not being acknowledged as a target population by the community at large and, second, because service providers are so overwhelmed by other problems that they have not begun to take up the challenge of addressing the special needs of this most vulnerable minority group.

This book, written at the request of teachers, social workers and psychologists, is in two parts.

Part 1 provides the information needed by parents, teachers and other caregivers for an understanding of personal safety skills for all children, and explains the risks and considerations peculiar to children with special needs. Possible approaches and methods for their protection are introduced.

Part 2 provides practical curriculum ideas and exercises for developing safety skills in children and young people with mild to severe disabilities. The curriculum ideas are sequenced to help with the development of basic safety knowledge and skills, and may also be used in mixed ability classes.


Part 1:

  • Why all children need personal safety skills
  • Why children with disabilities are at high risk of sexual abuse
  • Making a start
  • How to use this programme
  • Responding to the actual or suspected sexual abuse of children.

Part 2:

  • Module 1 - developing children's self-esteem
  • Module 2 - developing children's assertiveness skills
  • Module 3 - coping with hazards
  • Module 4 - ''it's my body''
  • Module 5 - some parts of our bodies are private
  • Module 6 - learning about our feelings
  • Module 7 - talking about touching.

Author Bio

Freda Briggs is Emeritus Professor, Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia.


Developing Personal Safety Skills in Children with Disabilities

Author: Freda Briggs

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