These resources might be useful but by no means is this an exhaustive list. Check back in the future for updated versions or to get up-to-the-minute updates, join our quarterly mailing list here.
Sexual Health, Relationship, and Education Programs or Resources
- Sex ed for self-advocates: Written materials and videos on sex education for autistic individuals ages 15+, by autistic individuals
- Sexual self-advocacy training program: Sexual self-advocacy training to explore, identify, and communicate their preferences. Encourages safe, sexual exploration and promotes self-advocacy skills to set boundaries and request privacy
- SHEIDD Review of Sexual Health and Education Curricula Designed for People with Disabilities: Summary of sex ed program for DD with target populations, strengths, and adaptations
- FLASH Special education lesson plans
- Lessons plans by grade or for “Differing Abilities” from Canada: Individual lesson plans for various ages/learning abilities
- Tackling Teenage Training program: Sexuality and relationship education program for autistic teens, RCT results were positive
- An article for parents
- Resource guide with ideas for activities
- Thinx and Ruby Love (and others): Absorbent underwear designed for periods, can be good for girls who have a sensory aversion to pads or who remove pads
Resources to Consult for Adaptations
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center 2013 Chart on Healthy Childhood Sexual Development
- The Facts of Life… and more: Sexuality and Intimacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities by Laura Walker-Hirsch
- Both of these resources include healthy sexual behaviors across childhood and how sexual education topics related to developmental age
Helpful Materials to Consult
- Sexetc: Great clickable map that summaries state-specific guidelines such as sex ed laws, age of consent, sexting, etc. This site also has a lot of other great sex education resources and videos!
- Guttmacher Institute: Site that outlines sex and HIV education laws by state, also includes links to policy-related topics
- Goldman, J.D.G. (2008). Responding to parental objections to sexuality education: A selection of 12 objections. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society, and Learning. 8(4).: A summary of common parental objections and ways to continue the discussion. Not DD specific and intended for discussions about sex education in school but the approach is generalizable to work with parents who may be reluctant or resistant to discuss sexual health or sexuality
- Elevatus training: Training materials for addressing sexuality with people with developmental disabilities, programming available for parents and professionals
- In Their Own Words: Guidelines for supporting sexual health of young people with IDD
- Comprehensive list of resources (Massachusetts)
- Tarnai, B. & Wolfe, P.S. (2008) Social stories for sexuality education for persons with autism/pervasive developmental disorder. Sexuality and Disability, 26(1).
- Videos and materials on sexuality and IDD by Dr. Elizabeth Koss Schmidt
- Aspergers Syndrome and Sexuality by Isabelle Henault: Addresses a wide range of issues from puberty and sexual/gender identity development to guidelines for sex educatin programs and developing sexual boundaries.Useful for auistic individuals, parents, teachers, and counselors.
- S.E.X., The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens & Twenties by Heather Corinna: Addresses topics such as self-image, changing bodies, gender and sexual identities, safe sex practices, and so much more! Useful for teens and young adults
- The Facts of Life & More by Leslie Walker-Hirsch: Real life stories and interviews, examples of successful sexuality education techniques, etc. Useful for adults (e.g. social workers, teachers, direct support professionals)
- A Guide to Gender by Sam Killermann: A comprehensive, not exhausting, slightly humorous dissection of gender. Can help you learn about yourself or how to communicate topics of gender to others – a good starting place. Useful for adolescents, teens, and adults alike
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Schooling edited by Stephen Russell & Stacey Horn: Addresses research, policy, and practices to support LGBTQ students and schools. Useful for professional adults in education or psychology fields
- Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network: The mission of Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN) is to provide community, support, and resources for Autistic women, girls, nonbinary people, and all others of marginalized genders. Useful for autistic individuals of marginalized genders.
- GLAAD: Promotes LGBTQ acceptance and provokes dialogue in the hopes of leading to cultural change. Useful for adolescents, teens, and adults
- Planned Parenthood: Provides reproductive health care, sex education, and information. Useful for teens and adults.
- Dating websites
- Friendship websites
- Sex Education (Netflix): A high school student with a sex therapist mother offers guidance to his peers.
- Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Hulu): The untimely death of a father leads to siblings coping with loss, navigating autism, sexuality, consent, and budding adulthood.
- Atypical (Netflix): A teenager on the autism spectrum decides to start dating, to his mother’s dismay.
Empirical Studies of Autism and Sexuality
- Dekker, L. P., van der Vegt, E. J. M., van der Ende, J., Tick, N., Louwerse, A., Maras, A., Verhulst, F. C., & Greaves-Lord, K. (2017). Psychosexual functioning of cognitively-able adolescents with autism spectrum disorder compared to typically developing peers: The development and testing of the Teen Transition Inventory- a self- and parent report questionnaire on psychosexual functioning. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(6), 1716–1738. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3071-y
- Dewinter, J., De Graaf, H., & Begeer, S. (2017). Sexual orientation, gender identity, and romantic relationships in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(9), 2927–2934. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3199-9
- Dewinter, J., Vermeiren, R., Vanwesenbeeck, I., & Van Nieuwenhuizen, Ch. (2016). Parental awareness of sexual experience in adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 713–719. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2622-3
- George, R., & Stokes, M. A. (2018). Gender identity and sexual orientation in autism spectrum disorder. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 22(8), 970–982. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361317714587
- Holmes, L. G., & Himle, M. B. (2014). Brief report: Parent–child sexuality communication and autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(11), 2964–2970. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2146-2