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The People Behind

Sarah1Hi, my name is Sarah Curtiss.  I am currently pursuing my PhD at the University of Illinois (UIUC) in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and am the person behind the Birds and the Bees I support individuals with developmental disabilities in learning about human sexuality and conduct research in this field.

This website is designed to provide information to parents, professionals, and self-advocates on how to teach human sexuality to individuals with special needs with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders.  It also is a great source for resources in this area.

A little bit about my background, before coming to UIUC I worked at the Developmental Services Center in Champaign, Illinois.  While at DSC, I chaired the sexuality resource committee and received training in sexuality education for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities from the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.  For six years, I provided individual sexuality education, trained sexuality educators, and consulted on the special needs of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in regards to sexuality.  I have also worked as a liaison with the Office of Inspector General and Rape Crisis Services to identify, report, investigate, and prevent  abuse and neglect.

As part of my PhD my research has examined how to best train instructors to teach sexuality topics.  I also have taught human sexuality classes at The Autism Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and with other community agencies.

Feel free to contact me with any questions

We also have interns!


Veronica is a senior in HDFS at UIUC and is interested in early childhood development and gender studies.




IMG_1343Jasmine is a junior in HDFS and is interested in being an occupational therapist. She is also an intern with The Autism Program.