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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W53
CE Offered: BACB
Providing Behavioral Sex Education for Persons With Autism and Related Issues: Key Points for Behavior Analysts to Consider
Friday, May 24, 2024
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Meeting Room 406
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Frank R. Cicero, Ph.D.
FRANK R. CICERO (Seton Hall University)
Description: Teaching of sexual behavior is often difficult for behavior analysts to discuss however it is a topic that will be an issue for many individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Although sexual behavior issues vary, they are most often related to deficits in social skills, knowledge, and communication. ABA strategies can be effective in promoting appropriate behaviors of a sexual topography. The workshop will begin with an overview of general issues regarding sexuality development as related to individuals with developmental disabilities. Consistent with ethical standards, a brief overview of human sexual behavior will be provided so that behavior analysts can identify situations where medical and developmental issues may be present. We will then address problem sexual behavior through functional assessment and discuss replacement treatments based on function. We will then move into more specific topics which could be included within an ABA sexual education curriculum, including the shaping of effective solo-sex. Treatment strategies will include reinforcement-based shaping, video modeling, task analyses, picture activity schedules, scripts and script fading, and social stories. Empirically supported literature and data will be presented where applicable and available. Treatments discussed will have been studied according to established procedures of scientific scrutiny that can be reasonably relied upon.
Learning Objectives: 1. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to state common issues experienced by people with developmental disabilities and ASD as related to appropriate and problem behaviors of a sexual topography, 2. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to develop 2-3 teaching programs for skill acquisition of sexual behaviors using techniques and theories consistent with applied behavior analysis, 3. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to conduct a functional assessment of problem behavior as it relates to sexual expression and develop a behavior intervention plan based on the function, 4. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will be able to list considerations associated with personal consent and respect for diversity across the sexuality spectrum.
Activities: The workshop will consist of the following activities: 1. Didactic instruction by the presenter, 2. Group discussion and audience presentation, 3. Presentation and review of teaching materials, 4. Role play and practice of presented teaching procedures where applicable, 5. Sharing and discussion of research data where applicable
Audience: The current workshop content is geared towards the following audience: 1. Intermediate and advanced behavior analysts who have a desire to learn how to apply behavioral principles and teaching methods to the subject of sexual behavior. 2. Educators and related service professionals who have an advanced behavioral background and work with individuals with developmental issues that have needs in the area of sexual behavior.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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