Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


11th Annual Autism Conference; San Juan, Puerto Rico; 2017

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #11
Sex Education for Individuals Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorders: What to Do, What to Avoid
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Miramar Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Bobby Newman, Ph.D.
Chair: Mitch Fryling (California State University, Los Angeles)
BOBBY NEWMAN (Room to Grow)
Bobby Newman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Behavior Analyst, and Licensed Psychologist. Affectionately known as the Dark Overlord of ABA, Bobby is the first author on 13 books regarding applied behavior analysis, the philosophy of behaviorism, autism spectrum disorders, and utopian literature. He has published over two dozen articles in professional journals, as well as numerous popular magazine articles, and has hosted two series of radio call-in shows. Bobby is the Past-President of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis. A popular speaker, Bobby also provides direct treatment, staff training, and consultation around the world, and has been honored for this work by several parent and professional groups. He is the director of Room to Grow. Bobby is also a certified personal trainer and marathoner and is an Ambassador for the Great Sportsmanship Programme. In addition to his other clinical work, Bobby teaches non-violent crisis intervention philosophy and techniques for agencies and families and is an instructor for the Our Whole Lives Sex Education curriculum.
Abstract: Individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and with developmental disabilities more generally, are often not provided with even basic sex education. Misconceptions regarding the sexuality of such individuals is often highly misunderstood, leading to further confusion and restrictions. Socially inappropriate behavior, both as a result of this lack of education and as a result of aspects of some disabilities, is unfortunately common and can lead to very serious social and even legal consequences. This presentation discusses these issues, and suggests means for addressing them through a comprehensive applied behavior analytic approach.
Target Audience:

Certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1)  describe for parents and direct care providers the reasons that sex education is difficult for individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum; (2) create sex education programs for individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum, both for skill-teaching and reducing the frequency of behaviors that are interfering with the learning process; (3) teach clients how to discriminate safe and unsafe environments for masturbation; (4) choose appropriate curricula for teaching sexual behavior.



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