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Sexuality Education for Individuals With Autism: What We Know and How to Apply It

2 hours, 56 minutes
2.5 BACB, 2.0 IBAO
February 29, 2024

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Human sexuality is complex. Individuals with ASD face additional complexities and challenges as they grow and develop. This course helps professionals, caregivers, and family members understand what those challenges are and how to meet them through timely, effective sexuality education tailored to persons with ASD. 

The course examines historical and cultural contexts, surveys current research, and provides evidence-based and real-world approaches to providing persons with ASD meaningful access to a well-considered sexuality education and sexual health.

I didn’t start my career thinking I would be teaching about sexuality. But the more I worked with adolescents and young adults, the more I realized that a lack of sexuality education is apparent in every single aspect of adult life. If we want to be helping adolescents and adults have great quality of life and great independence, we’re not going to get there if we don’t address this part of teaching.

Dr. Jessica Cauchi in Sexuality Education for Individuals With Autism: What We Know and How to Apply It

Learning Checklist

  1. Understand the background and context in which we approach sexuality education for individuals with ASD

  2. Define sexuality, sex, sexual health, and sexuality education

  3. Learn what research reveals that we do (and don't) know 

  4. Understand the nuances of puberty and gender identity in relation to ASD

  5. Apply ASD diagnostic criteria to the question of sexuality education

  6. Understand the increased risks for sexual abuse and sexual misconduct (perceived or real)

  7. Learn to manage risk around implementing sexuality education for individuals with ASD/DD

  8. Learn what behavior analysis can offer when teaching sexuality education

  9. Learn who should teach; where, when, and how

  10. Learn basic instructional concepts, target skills, and which teaching materials to use

  11. Learn to discuss and teach appropriate behavior around masturbation

  12. Understand and contextualize the roles social competence, independence, and language skills play


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