Sexuality and the Spectrum: Lessons on ABA, Dating, and Love, Autism Style
Presented by Amy Gravino, MA
Individuals on the autism spectrum are sexual beings, yet ABA as a field has not risen to the challenge of helping autistic people learn skills related to dating and sexuality. This session, which featured a woman on the autism spectrum sharing her firsthand perspective, included discussions on how and why the field of ABA has fallen short in teaching dating skills, what we can do better, and the potential challenges involved with teaching these skills. Strategies and resources were also offered to help professionals and parents begin conversations about relationships and sexuality with their children and clients.
About the Presenter
Amy Gravino, MA, Relationship Coach, Center for Adult Autism Services at Rutgers University
Amy Gravino, M.A., is an autism sexuality advocate and Relationship Coach in the Center for Adult Autism Services at Rutgers University. She is also the President of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, which offers autism consulting, college coaching, and mentoring services for organizations, schools, individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Amy is an international speaker who has given TED talks, spoken twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day, and presented worldwide to audiences on a variety of topics related to autism, with a dedicated special focus and research on the subject of autism and sexuality. Ms. Gravino obtained her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University in 2010 and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Specialisterne USA, Yes She Can, Inc. and the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK). She is an award-winning writer whose work has been featured in Spectrum, the leading online news source for autism research, Reader’s Digest, special education textbooks, and other outlets. Visit www.amygravino.com to learn more.