Autism, Sexual Health, and Safety: Empowering Community

Presented by Amy Gravino, Landa Fox, and Jessica Cauchi

Accessible sexual health education is an essential part of learning. In this nine part workshop, sexual health educators present on educational approaches and resources to support age-appropriate, accessible sexual health education for autistic individuals.

Part 1: Lived Experience Part 1 presented by Amy Gravino

In this workshop, participants learn about:

  • The safety risks posed by a lack of information and empowerment, and the corresponding importance of accessible sexual health education.
  • Developmental norms for sexual behaviors and knowledge, including how to adapt lessons for different ages and goals.
  • Identification of knowledge and skills that may need to be explicitly taught to autistic learners, including consent, body autonomy, and privacy.
  • Common barriers faced by parents, teachers, and support staff, including tips for increasing comfort with sexual health and safety topics.
  • Approaches for assessment and treatment of contextually inappropriate sexual behaviors.
  • Personal insights and lessons learned from lived experience as an autistic woman.

Amy Gravino, MA, 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 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 who has co-authored a chapter on autism and sexuality in the Handbook of Quality of Life for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and her work has been featured in Spectrum, the leading online news source for autism research, and other outlets. Visit to learn more.

Landa Fox is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and Certified Sexual Health Educator living and working in lək̓ʷəŋən Territory (Victoria, British Columbia). She has worked in the field of autism and disability support since 2003. Currently, her work focuses on sexual health, relationship, and safety education for autistic and other neurodivergent people. She also teaches sexual health education in schools around Victoria.

Her work often centers around creating and modifying existing sexual health and relationship education to be meaningful, accessible, and inclusive. She also works to create behavior support plans to address contextually inappropriate sexual behavior. Her work is client-centered, values-led, rights-based, and grounded in harm reduction principles.

She also trains caregivers, teachers, staff, and communities about sexual health development and inclusive sex education. Her special interests within the area of sexual health education include how to promote a culture of consent and body autonomy for autistic children and youth; developing affirming and rights-based sex education; and advocating for access to sexuality and sexual health for everyone. Visit to learn more.

Dr. Cauchi is a behavior analyst that has worked with people on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. She resides in Ontario, Canada. Jessica received her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Endicott College and is a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Certified Progressive Behavior Analyst – Autism Professional. Dr. Cauchi is interested in research and clinical practice in curriculum development and effective teaching practices in sexuality skills for persons on the autism spectrum, meaningful programming, rapport and assent, and progressive ABA. She has published work in these areas, as well as presented on these topics across Canada and internationally.

Part 2: Safety and Skills presented by Jessica Cauchi

Part 3: The Behavior of Sexuality presented by Jessica Cauchi

Part 4: Accessible Sexual Health and Safety Education presented by Landa Fox

Part 5: Panel Discussion

Part 6: Lived Experience part 2 presented by Amy Gravino

Part 7: I Want To, but Where Do I Start? presented by Landa Fox

Part 8: Questions & Answers with Amy Gravino and Landa Fox

Part 9:  Assessing and Addressing Contextually Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour presented by Landa Fox