The topic of puberty and sexuality can be uncomfortable and conversation about it is commonly avoided. The result is a lack of resources, information, and discussion surrounding this topic. This can be especially complicated and challenging for youth with developmental disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder.
This presentation will begin with exploring some common misconceptions regarding sexuality and individuals on the Autism spectrum. Attendees will explore the typical onset of puberty and sexual behaviors, including the disconnect between behaviors observed in typically developing peers and individuals with ASD. We will discuss critical components of sexuality education, existing resources, proactive strategies, and strategies for reducing the risk of abuse. Participants will complete applied practice exercises throughout the presentation.
1. Describe common misconceptions regarding sexuality and individuals on the autism spectrum
2. Describe the typical onset of puberty and related sexual behaviors in typically developing children and those with ASD
3. Practice assessing an individual’s sexuality education needs
4. Identify teaching strategies that promote appropriate sexual expression and sexual knowledge
5. Identify strategies to address inappropriate masturbation or other inappropriate sexual behaviors
6. Identify strategies to reduce risk of abuse