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Sexuality Education for Youth & Adults with Cognitive or Developmental Disabilities

Healthy sexuality is an important component of preventing sexual violence. Therefore there are several resources that can be incorporated into prevention programs. We know that it is important to deliver prevention programming that is socio-culturally relevant and developmental appropriate. So when working with youth or adults with developmental or cognitive disabilities, finding resources that are tailored to this community may be helpful.

Here are three curricula that focus on healthy sexuality for populations with developmental or cognitive disabilities:

Personal SPACE
created by the Arc of Maryland - The lesson on sexuality goes over private and public body parts, touching, and expression. This entire curriculum can be downloaded for free.
FLASH - Special Education
created by King County Public Health. There are specific lessons on communication and understanding the body that may be useful. Parts of the curriculum are available online. Also available in the WCSAP Library.
Sexuality Education for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
created by Planned Parenthood of New England. The Table of Contents and a sample lesson plan can be previewed online. Also available in the WCSAP Library.

Additionally, the WCSAP Library has a recorded webinar series called "Healthy Sexpectations" that are geared for prevention educators. These are available on DVD discs. They could be useful resources while developing and implementing sessions with youth or adults. The three webinars are:

  • Innovative Tools for Teaching Sexuality Education to Youth With Developmental Disabilities
  • Making the Case for Sexuality Education for Youth with Developmental Disabilities
  • Sexuality Education for Youth with Asperger's Syndrome

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Reviewed: October 8th, 2015