Children's Advocacy Centers of North Dakota
200 E. Main Street #301 * Bismarck, ND 58501
701-323-5626 *
Email contact
Prevention/Intervention Resources and Information 

Children with special needs are 3.44 times more likely to be abused than children without special needs. Special needs may include physical, mental, emotional or developmental conditions.
Traditional prevention programs aimed at teaching children to say no, leave and tell a trusted adults may not be helpful to children with disabilities.  It is important that parents and caregivers understand the risk and talk to thier children about abuse.  Develop communication cues that will alert the parent/caregiver that something has happened.  

Here are some tips on Preventing Abuse:
  • Become knowledgable.  Child abuse can and does happen to children with disabilities.
  • Help children build a healthy and positive self-esteem. Start when they are babies. Praise their accomplishments and let them know how much you believe in them.
  • Teach children that it is ok to politely say "no."
  • Help children develop healthy boundaries. Teach them that their bodies belong to them and nobody should touch them without their permission. Don't force children to give or receive kisses or sit in the lap of family or friends if they are uncomfortable. Teach them they have the right to refuse touches that make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Teach children to express their feelings. Listen to your children and help them find ways to talk about their feelings.
  • Help children express their fears. Respect children's fears and help them deal with them.
  • Teach communication skills. Even children who have trouble speaking need to show happiness, sadness, fear and the need for protection. If a child cannot speak, teach some simple signs that you both understand to mean things like "I need help," "I'm hurt," or "I'm afraid."
  • Help children learn how to get along with others. Encourage children with special needs to play with other children.
  • Teach children to seek help. Let children know that they should always tell you about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or anyone who hurts them, no matter what that person says. Help children feel comfortable talking to you about everything.


Prevention Resources:

Stop It Now!Provides collaboration services for parents, caregivers and people who work with children to prevent and recognize child abuse.

Education/Sexuality Curricula:

Advocates for Youth: Education and lesson plans, publications, and programs teaching sexuality.  Website provides information for youth, parents and professionals to help youth make informed and responsible decisions regarding youth sexual health.  Advocates for Youth provides resources and curricula recommended for purchase for those who have special needs.  Resources available in Amharic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Vietnamese.

FLASHA curriculum in Family Life and Sexual Health for middle and high school students with special needs, contains 28 lessons for self-contained classes, ages 11-21.  FLASH lessons can be downloaded for free.

National Consortium on Deaf-BlindnessAn introduction to teaching sexuality to individuals who are deaf-blind and significantly developmentally delayed, strategies for minimizing the risk of sexual abuse, and additional resources for deaf-blind sex