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This is a manual designed to help direct care staff overcome their discomfort with the sexual behavior of individuals with mental retardation. The manual is the outgrowth of workshops presented by the authors and is designed to be used for individual rather than group work. In this way, each staff member can work through their own discomfort using the exercises in the manual.

The 76 page manual begins with a discussion of why not providing sexual training to individuals with mental retardation is unethical and then addresses the barriers to comfort with giving that training. The main issues covered are the speedbumps on the road to sexual satisfaction, these same speedbumps from the perspective of individuals with mental retardation, and methods for overcoming those speedbumps. The second section of the manual is devoted to relationships and includes many helpful ideas about how to help individuals begin and build healthy relationships.

About the Authors:

Mark Steege, LMSW-ACP, LPC is a Certified Sex Counselor and Approved Supervisor by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). He has now had more than 10 years of experience in dealing with sexual behavior, appropriate and inappropriate, among individuals with mental retardation. Mark has been a frequent presenter at national, regional, and district meetings of AASECT, AAMR, QMRP, and TAMR. Mark serves as a consultant to several state schools in Texas as well as to community agencies and group homes.

Shannon L. Peck, MS, LPC is a Certified Sex Counselor by AASECT with 6 years of experience in dealing with sexual behavior and relationships among individuals with mental retardation. Shannon has been a presenter at AASECT, TAMR, and QMRP and is a frequent consultant to group homes in San Antonio. She also works individually with individuals who are in need of sexual or relational counseling.

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