AARC Tip of the Month - May   2015

Sexual Education


All children, no matter their IQ or disability, go through puberty.  Commonly, children diagnosed with ASD need a longer time than typically developing children to adjust and understand what their bodies may be going through. If the child is not prepared they can become scared, angry, or confused about what is happening to their bodies. Typically, puberty for girls starts around age ten or eleven, and puberty for boys starts around twelve or thirteen (given that every kiddo is different). It would be advantageous to start discussions and interventions with the child before they hit this age. Below are some helpful ways to start approaching this topic with your children:


  • When explaining puberty, use simple and consistent language, and use terms that are heard everyday. For example teach "breasts" and "boobs", or "menstruation" and "period".
  • Avoid terms that may confuse children who speak literally. For instance, avoid using the term "voice breaking" when speaking about how a male's voice may change and get deeper.
  • Attempt to use a variety of visuals (like pictures or drawings of the human body and the changes that it goes through) to support the conversations.
  • Contact the school to see what they have already gone over with the child and how they approached the curriculum. This can avoid confusion or overlapping of any education the child may have already received.
  • Use social stories as the child begins to near the age of puberty. This way way the child is exposed early and can ask questions about puberty at the appropriate time. 

Closed for the Summer
May22nd - August 10th.

AARC will be closed from May 22nd through August 10th. 

If you are looking for resources over the summer don't forget to check out our website! The Tip of The Month will continue over the summer as well. 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you during this school year - We provided training and support to over 3,000 Alaskans! 
Books of the Month:
These books are  available in the SESA Library. You may search the library on the SESA website, or you may contact our Librarian, Anne Freitag, at afreitag@sesa.org or  907-334-1301

For more information on ebooks, click here. If you've accessed ebooks in the past and already have an account, click here. 

For easy searching on the SESA Library site, we've added the ISBN number. Simply copy, paste, and search!

Making Sense of Sex [electronic resource] : a forthright guide to puberty, sex and relationships for people with Asperger's syndrome 
By: Sarah Attwood
Illustrated by: Jonathon Powell
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. 
ISBN:  9781843103745


Description: 'Sarah's book is an essential resource for all families who have an adolescent with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as Asperger's syndrome. The information is detailed and accurate, and addresses just about all the issues relating to the important subject of sexuality, which is all too often distorted and presented in a biased way. Sarah's approach is to explain the facts neutrally and realistically, while acknowledging individual values and respecting personal choice. I will certainly be recommending this book to all my clients.'. - Isabelle H?enault PhD.

Also available as a paper book.

Sex, Sexuality and the Autism Spectrum [electronic resource]
By: Wendy Lawson; Foreword by Glenys Jones
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2008. 
ISBN:  9781843102847


Contents: Introduction -- Foundations of who we are: ASD and sexuality -- Sex education -- What is a relationship? -- Being in a partnership -- Discovering bi-sexuality, homosexuality or transgender dispositions -- What is family? -- Building a safe place -- Maintaining our safe place -- Accepting and celebrating who I am -- References -- Resources -- Index.

Also available as a paper book.

Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality: from adolescence through adulthood 
By: Isabelle Henault: Foreword by Tony Attwood
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006. 
ISBN:  1843101890


Description: "Playing the dating game is often tricky: all the more so for individuals with Asperger's Syndrome. How do AS adolescents and their families cope with sexual feelings and behaviour? What help can be given if a man with AS oversteps the mark in expressing his sexuality? How do people with AS deal with intimacy and communication in sexual relationships? In this comprehensive and unique guide, {the author] delivers practical information and advice on issues ranging from puberty and sexual development, gender identity disorders, couples' therapy to guidelines for sex education programs and maintaining sexual boundaries."-Publisher's website.

Intimate Relationships and Sexual Health: a curriculum for teaching adolescents/adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders and other social challenges 
By: Catherine Davies & Melissa Dubie; Foreword by Gary B. Mesibov
AAPC Pub., 2012. 
ISBN:  9781934575888


Description: A complete curriculum for teaching about sexual health and intimate relationships, taking into consideration the learning preferences, sensitivity, social and other issues characteristic of individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Complete with handouts, checklists, and CD-ROM with blank forms and handouts.