Chris Burke and his mom

Marian Burke wrote a lovely introduction to our book, Sexuality: Your Sons and Daughters with Intellectual Disabilities (Brookes, 2000) that I put together with Dave Hingsburger. Here’s a ‘where are they now’ piece on Oprah.You might want to give it a listen. Marian was very genrous to lend us her thoughts as a mom and the pride in her son Chris was clear. My family and I were tickled to present a media award to the Life Goes On producers at the Warner Brothers Sudios in Burbank from the Canadian Association for Community Living.  I interviewed producer Michael Braverman, and were happy to be given free reign to wander the set; we met Bill Smitrovich, Chris, Andrea Friedman, Kellie Martin, and we watched an episode being filmed.  Chris is 48 now, wow, hard to believe as we think back many years ago when we watched the Life Goes On series and saw our own family played out in so much of it. I was happy to have a glimpse of Chris and his life today. Here’s a review about Sexuality:

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‘This warm and sympathetic book is designed to help parents build their children’s self-esteem (whether their children are prepubescent or already adults) and educate them about sexuality and safety. It explains what to teach, when to teach and how to teach. It addresses issues such as self-acceptance, values, parallel talk, privacy, appopriate behaviour, abuse, physical and emotional development in the teen years, relationships, marriage and parenting. The authors introduce “guides” – individuals with disabilities and their parents – whose experiences serve as examples throughout the book. These guides, as well as the authors’ anecdotes and conversational tone, make information that is often presented awkwardly (or not at all) easily accessible to parents. The information and the stories that show how much is possible for young people, regardless of their disabilities, will help parents to accept their children’s sexual development and to interact with their children in ways that will allow them to develop into confident, aware adults. The authors also include answers to frequently asked questions and sections for parents to reflect and plan how to broach different issues with their children.’

 

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