Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #358
CE Offered: BACB
Sex Education: A Proactive Approach
Sunday, May 29, 2022
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258C
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Christina M King, Ph.D.
Chair: Colleen Yorlets (RCS Behavioral & Educational Consulting)
CHRISTINA M KING (Simmons University)
ERIN KOSTIGEN (RCS Learning Center; Northeastern University)

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are often not provided with the sexuality education and knowledge they require in order to be independent and active members of their communities as adults. When this skill set is lacking, both the safety as well as overall level of independence of these individuals is affected. Studies completed by Johnson and Sigler (2000) and Kvam (2000) indicated 44% of children and 83% of adults with intellectual disabilities experience some form of sexual abuse. While these numbers are striking, often instruction is provided reactively after an incident or after puberty has already begun and is often not targeted by a behavior analyst. According to Woo and colleagues in their 2011 study, sexuality education not only encompasses sexual relationships but also includes instruction on puberty, self-care, privacy, communication, and personal safety many of which are skills we as behavior analysts program for on a frequent basis. Panelists will focus on elements of sexuality education that fall under the scope of a behavior analyst while analyzing best practices for preparing individuals of all ages to develop a level of personal autonomy for their health, safety, and self-advocacy in their future.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Audience members should be able to determine what is within the scope of practice for a behavior analyst. Audience members should have experience developing skill acquisition programming to promote skill independence. Audience members should be able to identify skill deficits for their clients.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify different skills and concepts that may be taught within a sexual education curriculum; (2) identify the relationship between sex education and safety; (3) identify a rationale for providing sex education proactively.
Keyword(s): sexuality education



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