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This manual comes as a result of Mark and Shannon's work with adults who are acting out their sexuality in unacceptable or dangerous ways. The authors are convinced that early sex education can help to alleviate problems that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder wrestle with as they become adults. There are many excellent books on sex education for individuals of all ages. However, there seem to be none that specifically address the education of children from birth to puberty who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. This manual is designed to give parents assistance in their efforts to educate their children about their emerging sexuality in explicit yet sensitive ways.

The manual begins by exploring the hang-ups most parents have about sexuality in general. It then moves to the specific problems faced by parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The manual provides ways of getting beyond the hang-ups so that the parents can feel comfortable with their own sexuality and the sexuality of their children. The manual concludes with practical methods of accomplishing the very important task of giving sex education to the child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The authors have also addressed the difficulties of accomplishing this task within the differing moral boundaries of parents. In this way, it is hoped, the children will have a better chance of a satisfying sexual life within the bounds of ability, safety, and appropriateness.

The manual has been edited by Carolyn Garver, PhD, who has 35 years of experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is presently with Autism Treatment Center, Inc. of Dallas Texas.

About the Authors:

Mark Steege is a Licensed Master Social Worker-Advanced Clinical Practitioner and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has been certified as a Sex Counselor and granted Supervisor status with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, (AASECT). He is co-developer of the “Social Skills and Sex Education” set that is presently used in agencies and group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Shannon L. Peck is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is also an AASECT Certified Sex Counselor. She is a former elementary school teacher and is now in private practice as a therapist specializing in sexuality counseling. She has extensive experience in working with children who have been sexually abused as well as with children who have been acting out sexually.

Both authors have extensive experience in working with sexual behavior problems of adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Both are frequent presenters at local and national conferences on sexual behavior problems. Both serve as consultants to state schools and group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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