On Tuesday, Oct. 30, national speaker and author Leslie Walker-Hirsch will lead a daylong conference, "Sexuality and Intimacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities," at Norwalk Hospital. Teens and young adults with intellectual disabilities, their families, and the health professionals and educators who work with them are invited to attend.

Making good decisions about sexuality is a critical part of adulthood, but sometimes people with intellectual disabilities do not get the support or education they need to navigate this complex aspect of life.

For more than 25 years, Walker-Hirsch has assisted teens and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families understand sexuality and disability. She has also helped state agencies, law enforcement and the courts deal more effectively with this population. She offers guidance in developing a responsible expression of sexuality for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Walker-Hirsch's book, "The Facts of Life ... and More: Sexuality and Intimacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities," will be discussed at the upcoming seminar. Each attendee will receive a copy of the book.

With this frank, thorough presentation, professionals, parents and others will learn to better advocate for people with disabilities and help them reap the social and emotional benefits of healthy, responsible, age-appropriate sexuality. Participants with disabilities will sharpen their self-advocacy skills. Attendees will learn to expand their view of sexuality education and understand how important this education is for self-protection and for a high quality of life.

The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at Norwalk Hospital's Perkin Auditorium, 34 Maple St. The $35 fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch and copy of the book. Individuals with intellectual disabilities must register, and their admission is complimentary.

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The conference is being sponsored by SPED*NET, Special Education Network of New Canaan Ltd; STAR Inc., Lighting the Way; Norwalk Hospital's Pediatric Development and Therapy Center; and New Canaan public schools. Educators will be granted CEUs. For further information or to register, visit www.spednet.org.