Resources for Learning About Sexuality



Below are many resources geared toward parent, family members, caregivers and people with disabilities and the subject of sexuality. Please also see our Sexuality page in our Relationships section of the website.


  • Growing Up on the Spectrum: A Guide to Life, Love, and Learning for Teens and Young Adults with Autism and Asperger’s by Lynn Kern Koegel and Claire LaZebnik: This comprehensive guide for teens with autism has a section specific to relationships and sexuality that covers dating and sex for teens with autism.
  • Making Sense of Sex: A Forthright Guide to Puberty, Sex and Relationships for People With Asperger’s Syndrome by Sarah Attwood: Puberty is a time of huge change in the physical body, in emotional experience and in social relationships. Having an understanding of these developments and learning how to deal with them is essential, and for people with Asperger’s syndrome it can be a challenge to get to grips with the social and emotional aspects of puberty, sex and relationships. This book is ideal for those who need clear, detailed explanations and direct answers to the many questions raised by puberty and sexual maturity. Sarah Attwood describes developments in both the male and female body, and explains how to maintain hygiene and personal care, and to promote general good health. She examines emotional changes, including moods and sexual feelings, and provides comprehensive information on sex, sexual health and reproduction. She looks at the nature of friendship, how it changes from childhood to adulthood and its importance as a basis for sexual encounter. She also offers coping strategies for different social experiences, from bullying to dating, and includes essential tips on the politics of mature behavior, such as knowing the difference between public and personal topics of conversation.
  • Sexuality Education for Adults with Developmental Disabilities by Katherine McLaughlin: This one of a kind curriculum is designed for teams of self advocates and staff to co-teach together. This 350-page cognitively accessible curriculum includes 20 lessons, scripts, handouts, and teaching tools. Plus it has a manual that provides tips on how to establish a sexuality education class and how to be an effective, engaging sexuality educator. It also outlines challenges when teaching this topic and offers tactics to overcome them. This curriculum has everything you will need to get started.
  • Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Terri Couwenhoven, M.S.: Drawing on her unique background as both a sexual educator and mother of a child with Down syndrome, the author blends factual information and practical ideas for teaching children with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities about their bodies, puberty, and sexuality. This book gives parents the confidence to speak comfortably about these sometimes difficult subjects.In an easy-to-read, non-clinical style, the book covers relevant issues and concerns for children of all ages. Each chapter highlights important points with key messages, teaching activities, parental pauses, and anecdotes, all of which prompt readers to stop and consider concepts or values associated with a particular topic. The final chapter covers the special concerns of parents who are now teaching teenaged or adult children about sexuality for the first time. It concludes with extensive appendices containing invaluable teaching materials and illustrations of body parts and functions.


  • GULP! Talking with your kids about sexuality. This newsletter is for families of young and grown children with developmental disabilities from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
  • Impact is published by the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD), and the Research and Training Center on Community Living and Employment, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. This is a feature issue on sexuality and people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities.
  • Reflections on Sterilization by David Wetherow. Responding to a question about the possibility of sterilizing a young woman with developmental disabilities who had just begun menstruating.
  • Top 10 Questions: on Down Syndrome and Sexuality from expert Terri Couwenhoven, M.S., certified sexuality educator, parent, and author of the forthcoming book, Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality, offers thoughtful answers to parents’ frequently asked questions about Down syndrome and sexuality.


  • Sex Education for Youth: This website includes some general sex education guidelines for parents of youth with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities.
  • Diverse City: This website distributes books and training materials dealing with sexuality and people with developmental disabilities published by David Hingsburger. David is a therapist, educator, lecturer and author who actively campaigns for the sexual rights of people with disabilities. Sexuality: Your Sons and Daughters with Intellectual Disabilities by Karen Melberg Schwier and David Hingsburger is available used at
  • Family Support Institute Press: This organizations distributes copies of: I Openers: Parents Ask Questions About Sexuality and Children with Developmental Disabilities by Dave Hingsburger. Family Support Institute Press. 1993.
  • IDHD: A comprehensive list of links, books, articles, and curricula on sexuality and disability can be found under IDHD Resources.
  • The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities Fact Sheet (PDF): This fact sheet still remains relevant despite its age. Sections include information on defining sexuality and how it develops, social skills, teaching children about sexuality, affects of disability on sexuality, and relationship issues for young adults.
  • “We’re Talking”: developed by the Adolescent Interest Group (AIG) of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). The group is comprised of PAMF physicians, social workers, educators and researchers concerned with addressing the health care needs of adolescents.
  • Disability Training: This website includes resources for sexual education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Sexual Health: A good, straightforward health network with information, support and other links.
  • Sex Support: A terrific site. Written in larger type and easy to understand language. Provides links to info on teen sexuality, disability & sexuality, GLBT, aging & sexuality, and self-advocacy.
  • The Sexuality Information and Educator Council of the United States: A good starting point for sexuality resources in general are the websites for the Sexuality Information Education Council of the United States. From the SEICUS homepage, users can link to a listing of informative and annotated bibliographies including sexuality and disability.
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