Individuals with ASD rarely get sufficient and/or reliable information about healthy sexual behaviors from traditional sources, like at school or from parents/caregivers, which often results in an increased risk of becoming victims of sexual crimes or perceived offenders (Brown-Lavoie, Viecili, and Weiss, 2014). Reviews and research related to the sexual health curriculums used within schools or educational settings for individuals with ASD is sparse with some indication of the absence of any existing or adapted curriculum in regular use. Removal of these students from sexual health classes means they are left to obtain information from unmonitored sources.
This brief survey is designed to gain insight from a variety of stakeholders (i.e., family members/caregivers, teachers, school admin, or individuals with a disability) regarding sexual health knowledge and the programs provided within an educational setting for students with disabilities.
As a thank you for your participation, you will receive a PDF info sheet with practical strategies for providing resources and skills teaching materials related to sexual health as a step towards preventing sexual abuse or victimization of individuals with disabilities. Please consider sharing this survey with friends and colleagues alike.
Please contact Naomi Swiezy, Ph.D., HSPP, Director, HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tiffany Neal, Ph.D., Assistant Director, HANDS in Autism® Interdisciplinary Training and Resource Center at email@example.com with any questions, concerns, or additional comments.
When an individual engages in negative behaviors, such as a tantrum or aggression, it is important to focus on the safety of the individual, those around them, and property.
In case of emergency, call 9-1-1!
Indiana’s Adult Abuse Hotline: Report any types of adult (18+ y.o.) abuse (e.g., neglect, battery, or exploitation) who may be incapable due to mental illness or other physical or mental incapacity to Adult Protective Services. State hotline: 1-800-992-6978. For more information or to report online: www.in.gov/fssa/da/3479.htm
Indiana’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: Call 1-800-800-5556 to report child abuse (e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse) and neglect allegations. Help is available 24/7.
Suicide hotline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a counselor at Lifeline crisis center near you. Help is available 24/7. For more information: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
SAMHSA’s National Helpline (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service): Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Help available 24/7. For more information: http://www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov
When to Ask for Help?
Individuals with ASD experience many challenges. However, it is important for parents and caregivers to recognize when they need to seek help:
- Aggression, self-injury or other changes in behavior, like irritability or anxiety, are recurrent, persistent, and have strong negative impact onto those around them
- Dangerous or unsafe behaviors that are challenging to manage or contain (e.g., elopement and wandering)
- Threats of suicide
- Regression in skills
HANDS in Autism® at the IU School of Medicine has been invited to conduct an analysis of the current resources and services related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Indiana. The results of this analysis will help to inform the comprehensive plan for collaboratively and strategically strengthening the supports among systems for families and individuals with ASD.
One component of this analysis involves the completion of a comprehensive needs assessment. We are seeking input from all perspectives, whether as a family member, individual with ASD, medical provider, school personnel, justice system employee, or other community service provider. For this assessment to be representative of the many stakeholder groups that support individuals with ASD as well as reflective of the needs of individuals with ASD themselves, we need participation from as many people and from as many viewpoints as possible. All responses will be confidential and only summary data will be shared with the state and as part of the report and recommendations provided to the state.
Please take a moment to complete the survey and feel free to also share this information with others who may provide insight. The survey will take approximately 10- 15 minutes to complete. If you are interested in completing a hard copy survey or know of others who may be interested in completing a hard copy version of the survey, let us know as hard copies are available upon request.