Episode 20: Sex Education, ABA, and Autism
How We Can Do Better
My guest today is Madison Holcomb, an Autistic adult whose work focuses on offering an Autistic perspective to families and professionals.
Madison was a recent guest speaker at SEXABA, a conference focused on the importance of thinking ahead to the needs of not only the child but also the adult the child will become! This must include giving thought to sex education.
Oftentimes we think of sex education as this “big thing.” But in reality, sex education is often just taking ideas experienced in other platonic relationships and generalizing those ideas to a sexual relationship. The problem comes when we allow unhealthy or abusive treatment in platonic relationships that then gets transferred to a more intimate and vulnerable setting.
SEXABA is definitely an attention-getting title. Most people do not put the two ideas together: sex education and Applied Behavior Analysis.
But the conference explores some very important issues that we rarely talk about. I think one of the reasons we don’t talk about gender identities and sexuality within the context of ABA is because when we think of ABA we think of children.
But the reality is that children grow up to be adults. We must be careful to teach our children skills that will continue to serve them and not hamper them in adulthood.
I hope you enjoyed listening to today’s episode and gained some new insights into the wonderful variety of people in our world!
And remember, Special Needs Kids are People Too!