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By Brenda Kosky-Deskin

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Teaching People With Autism About Social Boundaries & Sexuality

April 30, 2012   Comments (0)

Safety General Safety Sexuality & Relationships



Although emotionally and mentally many teens and adults who have Autism can be quite childlike and naive, on a physical level they are very much adults. It is our responsibility as parents, caregivers and educators to teach them about sexuality in a way that is meaningful and relevant to each individual's unique learning style and level of comprehension in order to help them:

  • recognize why their bodies are changing or have already changed;
  • care for themselves by following appropriate hygiene regimens;
  • recognize what is and is not appropriate social and sexual behavior and to behave accordingly;
  • be protected from unscrupulous sexual predators who are willing to take advantage of their vulnerabilities.

I hope you find the following resources helpful in reaching these goals:

autism, sex, sexual, health




This extremely comprehensive website offers  FREE lesson plans and information to both teachers and parents.

The Parents section of the website includes more printable resources and fact sheets. Major landmarks in sexual development are broken down by page and describe typical physical, sexual and developmental milestones.

The Teachers portal includes an almost endless number of resources including downloadable activities that can utilize SMART board interactive technology. Games, quizzes and videos are designed to further enhance a student's learning experience. Useful illustrations of the male and female anatomy both with and without labels are available to download and a handy glossary provides an extensive list of sexual-health-related definitions.

The curriculum materials are conveniently sorted by grade level (4 to 9) and topic. The site also features a special needs curriculum exclusively for teaching students of differing abilities. It is broken down into the following categories:

  • Introduction to Human Sexuality
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Puberty and Hygiene
  • Personal Boundaries - Private/Public
  • Physical  Boundaries
  • Social and Emotional Boundaries
  • Building Peer Relationships

The Circles® Curriculum

autism, safety, intimacy, relationships, social intimacy







The Circles® Curriculum by the James Stanfield Company is an innovative and forward-thinking program that cleverly takes abstract social concepts and norms and presents them in a tangible and easy-to-understand manner. Ideal for the visual learner, these unique instructional materials utilize clear and distinctive graphics and colors to illustrate important social boundaries that can otherwise be somewhat elusive to individuals with cognitive or social challenges.

Circles Level 1 focuses on Intimacy and Relationships, explaining the different  people as well as how these intimacy levels can change over time.

Circles Level 2 is also about Intimacy and Relationships, but delves into rules of social distance.

Circles Stop Abuse provides real-life demonstrations to teach students how to recognize and avoid threatening or potentially abusive situations.

Circles AIDS: Safer Ways provides students with information on avoiding and treating communicable diseases and STDs.

This curriculum is available for individuals to purchase online, or you may be able to find a local course or workshop that utlizes the Circles® Curriculum such as Parents Helping Parents in San Jose, California. Alternatively, encourage your child's school to purchase a copy of Circles as it would be a valuable asset for any library serving individuals on the Autism Spectrum.

Period. A Girl's Guide

menstruation, period, education, female sex education







Homeschooling, Autism & "Stuff" does a superb job reviewing Period. A Girl's Guide. If you are looking to help a female on the Autism Spectrum understand and manage menstruation, this is a good place to start.


kidpower, child, safety, autism





Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International™ (shortened to Kidpower™) is a charitable educational nonprofit organization founded in Santa Cruz, California in 1989. Their vision is to work together to create cultures of caring, respect, and safety for all. Their mission is to teach people of all ages and abilities, especially children in need, to use their power to stay safe, act wisely, and believe in themselves.

They offer learning materials and workshops specifically geared to individuals with special needs, as well as featuring a store on their site where you can purchase books, teaching kits and other useful materials.


Various Books

While some of these books are not written specifically for the special needs population, they could be appropriate for many learners on the Autism Spectrum.

An exceptional children's guide to touch, sexual safety










good touch bad touch, sexual education, children










i said no, sexual education, safety, children















April 30, 2012   Comments (0)

Safety General Safety Sexuality & Relationships

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