Building Capacity to Deliver Sex Education to Individuals with Autism

Sarah L. Curtiss, Aaron T. Ebata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Professionals from a variety of fields are called upon to understand the needs of individuals with autism, advocate for services, and provide sexuality education, however few have formal training. This study examined a process to build capacity for individuals with autism to receive human sexuality education through training professionals via a 1 day workshop and providing ongoing education online. To better understand both the context for professionals and the outcomes of the training we examined the reasons participants attended, their work climate surrounding issues of human sexuality education for individuals with autism, the extent to which the training changed instructional behavior and perceptions of readiness, and the differential effectiveness of follow-up education based on online delivery modality (Facebook update or email message). Participants were interested in attending a training on human sexuality education even if they had no intention to teach this topic. In general, the climate among attendees was positive for teaching human sexuality education both in terms of their own values and their perceptions of support by others. The workshop and follow-up online education were effective for increasing instructional behavior and feelings of readiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalSexuality and Disability
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Human sexuality education
  • Online education
  • Professional development
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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