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 #431
CE Offered: BACB
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sexuality: Evidence-Based Strategies for Teaching Healthy Relationships
Monday, May 30, 2022
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254A
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Kate A Langston Rooney, M.Ed.
Chair: Kara Constantine (Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health)
KATHLEEN DOYLE (Geisinger Medical Center)
CHERIE ANN FISHBAUGH (West Chester University)

Individuals with Autism often receive inadequate instruction surrounding sexuality and building healthy relationships. Many recognize the importance of sexuality education; however, feel unprepared to teach this subject to those with ASD. When sex education is provided, it is often implemented reactively, when a behavior is considered problematic rather than proactively. Instruction tends to lack essential information to support individuals in understanding their personal sexuality and how to develop romantic relationships. One way to make sexuality education more accessible is by providing parents, caregivers and professionals evidence-based resources and strategies to effectively teach these skills. In this panel, the following topics may be discussed: (a) the facts and myths surrounding teaching individuals with ASD about sexuality and relationships; (b) current literature on caregiver/teacher perceptions of sexuality and ASD; (c) the importance of incorporating critical relationship skills into education; and (d) evidence-based strategies that can be used to teach healthy relationship skills. Attendees will be provided with a list of resources that they can use to increase the quality of their own instruction surrounding sexuality and building healthy relationships.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students. 

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) differentiate between facts and myths surrounding individuals with ASD and sexuality; (2) identify critical skills necessary to build healthy relationships; (3) describe how to use evidence-based strategies such as video modeling, self-monitoring, and behavior skills training to teach individuals with ASD how to engage in healthy relationships.
Keyword(s): Autism, Healthy Relationships, Sexuality Education



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