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Sexuality and Developmental Disability. Explicitly teaching some of our most intuitive experiences. Lisa G. Hayutin, PhD. Sexuality is part of development. Pubertal changes Pleasure/tension reduction Self-awareness Self-esteem Interpersonal interactions. Awareness.

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Sexuality and developmental disability l.jpg

Sexuality and Developmental Disability

Explicitly teaching some of our most intuitive experiences

Lisa G. Hayutin, PhD

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Sexuality is part of development

  • Pubertal changes

  • Pleasure/tension reduction

  • Self-awareness

  • Self-esteem

  • Interpersonal interactions

Awareness l.jpg

Perspective-taking, compromise, etc.

Protection: coercion, disease, and pregnancy

Dating, Sex, and Romantic Relationships

Appropriate Self-Stimulation

Rights, Rules, Laws, and Warnings

Feelings & Impulses


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Physiology and Anatomy

  • Sex organs

    • Internal and external

    • Proper and slang names

  • Pubertal changes

  • Proper care

    • Protection from injury

    • Hygiene

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Rights, rules, laws, and warnings

  • Safety from abuse

  • Appropriate places and times for:

    • Self-examination

    • Sexual discussion

    • Sexual behavior

  • Touching others

  • Responding to feedback

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Dating, Sex, and Relationships

  • Dating Rules:

    • Assessing interest

    • Asking someone out

    • Casual dating vs. monogamy

  • Sexual decision making

  • Frequency and intensity of contact

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  • Coercion

    • Saying “no”

    • Listening to “no”

  • Disease

    • Education about disease

    • Education about proper use of condoms

  • Contraception

    • Degree of autonomy

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  • Higher-level social understanding

    • Developing a new relationship

    • Maintaining a relationship

  • Seeking help and support

    • Books

    • Role-playing

    • Counseling/coaching

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AU/DD sexuality considerations

  • Cognitive level

  • Sensory sensitivity

  • Stimulation levels

  • Different interests/needs

    • Social, sexual

  • Perspective-taking

  • Medication

  • Contraception (guardianship?)

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AU/DD teaching considerations

  • Assume nothing

    • Explicit language

    • Multiple examples

    • Multi-media

    • Demonstration (?)

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Systems for Teaching

  • Parents as teachers??

  • Other supports:

    • Books

    • Videos

    • Diagrams/Pictures

    • Counseling

    • Group education

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Systems for Independence

  • Rule books

  • Rating scales

  • Flow charts

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Community Resources

  • The ARC

  • ASNC

  • Division TEACCH

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Web resources

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Books: General

  • The “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Boys/Girls.Lynda Madaras

  • My Body Myself: For Boys/Girls. Lynda Mararas & Area Madaras

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Books: General

  • The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations.Brenda Smith Myles, Melissa Trautman, Ronda Schlevan

  • A 5 is Against the Law! Social Boundaries Straight Up!: An Honest Guide for Teens and Young Adults

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Books: DD

  • A Curriculum on Sex Education and Social Skills Training for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.Toni James-Manus & Raymond D. Newnam

  • Growing up: A Social and Sexual Education Picture Book for Young People with Mental Retardation.Victoria Shea & Betty Gordon

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Books: AS/HFA

  • Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults.Zosia Zaks

  • Asperger’s Syndrome in Adolescents: Living with the Ups, Downs, and Things In-Between.Liane Holliday Willie

  • Asperger’s Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence Through Adulthood.Isabelle Henault

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Contact Information

Lisa Hayutin, PhD

Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychologist

[email protected]

(919) 233-4131