Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IN UCEDD/LEND) Staff Members Write Two New Books

January 5, 2012

Intimate Relationships and Sexual Health

"Intimate Relationships and Sexual Health" is a new book that provides readers with an "all you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask/teach" curriculum on sexuality tailored to the unique characteristics of high-functioning adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum.

This comprehensive and extensively researched curriculum (with a companion CD), written by Indiana University, Bloomington co‐authors Catherine Davies and Melissa Dubie, provides 11 detailed lessons covering the complex topics of sex education and relationships. Subject matter includes fact‐based content such as anatomy and reproduction along with lessons that teach aspects of social judgment such as dating, relationship building, and decision making.

Intimate Relationships and Sexual Health, printed by AAPC Publishing, utilizes teaching strategies and techniques that have been shown to be effective for those with autism spectrum disorders. Each lesson includes a highly structured lesson plan that incorporates learning objectives, individual and group activities, student assignments, and handouts. Suggestions are also provided for adapting each lesson to individual rather than group instruction. The curriculum can be successfully used by instructors from a variety of backgrounds including teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents, and therapists.

Davies and Dubie are educational consultants with the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. Davies has more than 25 years of experience in working with children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Dubie has 27 years of public school experience as a teacher, coach, and consultant and currently works with families and professionals about issues related to puberty and sexual health.

The Indiana Resource Center for Autism is part of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University Bloomington. Both receive support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, which is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives, and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path‐breaking work.

The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome

Adults with Asperger Syndrome often have difficulties establishing long‐term relationships due to the defining characteristics of the syndrome. A new book, "The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome," draws on the personal experiences of the authors to provide non‐spectrum partners with tried‐and‐tested strategies and advice on how to overcome these barriers and achieve meaningful relationships.

Indiana University's Marci Wheeler and co‐authors Susan Moreno and Kealah Parkinson explore the key differences that may impact these relationships, such as communication, social skills, and sensory issues.

Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, The Partner's Guide, includes more than 100 interviews and chapters on coping with stress and meltdowns, parenting, positive Asperger Syndrome qualities and how to use them to their full advantage in relationships, as well as advice on how non‐spectrum partners can ensure that their own needs are met. 

Wheeler holds a master's degree in social work and has worked at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community since 1983. She has served at a field instructor and adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work at Indiana University‐Purdue University Indianapolis.
Moreno is the founder and president of MAAP Services Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides information and advice to parents, educators, and healthcare professionals about all aspects of autism spectrum disorders. Parkinson specializes in fostering communication skills in clients with developmental disorders.