Relationship Rescue: My Daughter is Talking About Marriage
Question: My daughter is a 19 year old with Down syndrome (DS). She has been dating a 21 year old man with DS. Are there any articles or advice about dating and marriage? They are always talking about getting married. They have been dating almost a year and are always telling each other how much they love each other.
Please help! Thanks, Tammy S.
Advice: Tammy, it’s important to realize that despite their intellectual disabilities, they are completely normal when it comes to wanting a companion around. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any “book” that can instruct you on what to do. The best way to handle it is, of course, proper birth control along with a lot of communication with your daughter.
I once worked with a special needs couple who lived together and got married. They did just fine with the coaching from their families. She was put on birth control and they were happy. It made me realize a very important thing. They truly are entitled to have relationships the same as we are, however, they have to be managed appropriately. I have to admit that I am concerned for that day to occur for my own children. However, why shouldn’t we allow them to be loved by someone who is like them? On an entirely different level, it could be wonderful to have them experience the same unconditional love that we have for them as well.
Robin Newman LCSW,PC, clinical social worker and adjunct professor at Adelphi’s Graduate School of Social Work. She also has a private practice. She is married with 2 special need children. Have a question about your relationship? Ask Robin. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org