Learning from Temple Grandin

I had the honor of presenting at the Champaign-Urbana Autism Conference where Temple Grandin was the key note speaker. So much of her message could be applied to human sexuality instruction.

  • Don’t yell “no!” Calmly tell people what they should be doing. (Dr. Grandin was talking about putting her finger in her water cup at the dinner table, but the same rule applies to masturbation).
  • Give lots and lots of examples of what falls within a category and it will eventually build up the concept you are working on. (Dr. Grandin was talking about understanding church steeples but the same strategy can be used to understand body parts).
  • Once you have a concept down use that concept to expand. (Dr. Grandin was talking about airplanes, but the same principle applies to privacy – one you get private body parts down you can use the concept of privacy to understand places and ideas).
  • And from Eustacia Cutler (Dr. Grandin’s mother), “The more we understand how autism [and sexuality] works the less anxious we become.” And sexuality added.

I focused on goals for sexuality instruction across the lifespan (exploring, understanding boundaries, coping with changes, and living your story) as well as modalities for instruction (socialization, formal lessons, behavior planning, and advocacy).  You can find my presentation here.

 

YAI Online Resource Center

YAI is a agency out of New York that has a relationship video series I really like.  They also have developed a determining sexual consent manual (which you can get through their online resource center).

Unfortunately, this is not a free service, but as far as somethings go, it’s not too bad.  For $150 a year you can buy membership to the YAI’s online resource center.  You then get to download tons of materials.  They have a lot on relationships and sexuality.  Some of it is geared toward staff/educator preparedness but they also have lesson plans.  Many of the items are available to purchase separately without buying membership to the resource center (and other items, like the relationship videos, aren’t available to download).

You can check out some of the resources available during a free trial.