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SEXUALITY EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENTS AND ADULTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS

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Abstract

As people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) mature from adolescents into adults, social deficits may become more pronounced and apparent in new areas (e.g., social functioning and sexuality). Like neurotypicals, sexuality may be directly related to quality of life for people with ASD. Current practice for addressing sexuality in the ASD population includes some curricula that may be beneficial for teaching skills related to sexuality, but the scientific support for such curricula is absent. Typically sexuality education is only implemented when a behavior is demonstrated that is considered deviant or problematic. Although reactive education may be a common practice, a strategy that includes proactive sexuality education may be more beneficial for the long-term quality of life for people with ASD. The current paper will highlight some of the areas for further investigation and program development for adolescents and adults with ASD.

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