Sexuality and Intellectual Disability, Part IV: Teaching about Sexuality Using Direct Instruction and Social Stories: Challenges and Solutions

This is the fourth session in TASH Training’s five-part Fall 2014 series, Sexuality, Education and Support for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


4:00-5:00 PM Eastern, Thursday, 23 October 2014

About this presentation

This session will present two empirically based strategies for teaching students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) about social and sexual information: direct instruction and social stories. Both instructional methods have been posited as effective methods to teach a variety of topics/content to individuals with ASD. However, neither method has been tied to the content area of socio-sexuality. In this session, participants will be given socio-sexual topics that are regarded as a high priority for instruction, strategies/methods related to direct instruction and social stories, and resources to help educators and families implement the strategies. Exploration of cultural norms of social and sexual behavior will be discussed as well as the importance of cultural awareness when teaching the potentially sensitive topic of sexuality.

Learning objectives

As a result of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Make informed choices between direct instruction and social stories when creating sexuality education plans.
  2. Identify and incorporate the best resources for their chosen education strategy.
  3. Take into account various cultural norms when teaching sexuality issues.

This presentation is for people teaching sexuality education to people with intellectual disabilities, people designing sexuality education curriculum, people making decisions about such curriculum, or people interested in assessing direct instruction versus social stories educational methods in previously unconsidered sexuality education situations.

About the presenters

Pam Wolfe

Pamela Wolfe is an Associate Professor of Special Education at Penn State University, University Park. Pam has worked with adolescents and adults having severe disabilities and ASD for over 30 years in a variety of classroom and community settings. At Penn State, Pamela is Academic Coordinator of the Professional Development Certificate in Autism and an instructor in the University’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program (ABA). Currently she is conducting research related to best practice components of sexuality curriculum and approaches to its instruction.

Sarah Domire

Sarah Domire is currently a doctoral candidate in Special Education at Penn State University. Prior to her doctoral studies, Sarah worked as a classroom special education teacher and alternate assessment coach for New York City Public Schools. Sarah’s current research projects include: using video-prompting techniques to teach academic and daily living skills to children with autism spectrum disorders, iPad applications for the classroom, visual schedules and supports, and sexuality curricula for individuals with severe disabilities.

How to attend

This is a live webinar that will be streamed over the web. The presentation will be about fifty minutes, followed by ten minutes for Q&A. Registered participants will receive an e-mail with instructions and the link to join the webinar on the day of the event. Members are $25; non-members are $40. The member discount will be credited at the time of checkout. Registration closes Wednesday, 22 October 2014, the day before the event. For more information, contact Donald Taylor at

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