Higher Ed, ASD, and Sexuality

Chaturi Edrisinha



Upon entering university, students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) transition from IDEA to ADA and FERPA, shifting the responsibility for initiating services and advocacy from school personnel to themselves. These students, now considered adults, face challenges with relationships, sexuality, and consent—areas often neglected in their education, which can affect not only their personal well-being but also the broader university community. The presentation from the the 2018 Michigan Autism Conference aims to explore strategies to address these issues.

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When a high school student with ASD enters as a freshman at an university, he or she immediately loses access to the benefits and coverage of IDEA and enters the world of ADA and FERPA. The responsibility for identifying, documenting, initiating services and advocacy shift from the school personnel to the individual student. University students over 18 are considered adults. Issues related to relationships, sexuality, sexual health, consent and sexual behaviors are topics that are not always specifically addressed with students regardless of of their prior history of accessing services through K-12. Yet, we find that these are the very issues that high achieving students on the ASD spectrum struggle most with. Left unaddressed these behaviors may result in negative outcomes to the individual and their quality of life but also the university community affecting college attrition, completion rates, and campus culture. This presentation will discuss some ways to address this timely topic with students on the ASD spectrum that may have implications for neurotypicals who may have similar questions.

About the Speaker

Chaturi Edrisinha is a board-certified behavior analyst. She received her Ph.D. in autism and developmental disabilities and her M.Ed. in early childhood special education from The University of Texas at Austin. An overarching agenda in Dr. Edrisinha’s research is to develop instructional and support strategies in order to foster independence and inclusion for persons with autism spectrum disorders. She has been successful in obtaining multiple research grants totaling more than $100,000. She published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, and book chapters in many prestigious journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Research in Developmental Disabilities, and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities and presented at numerous national and international conferences.

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Below is the entire open-access version of this video. It does not contain embedded questions or interactions like the CEU version of the module.


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A portion of the proceeds from this module goes directly to the Michigan Autism Conference

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Dr. Chaturi Edrisinha
Higher Ed, ASD, and Sexuality
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