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My Body, My Life: A Sexual Health Unit for High Functioning Autistic Support Students at the High-School Level

This sexual health curriculum unit is designed for use with high functioning autistic students in grades 9 - 12 who have low to average cognitive abilities. It is intended to supplement any current or available units as it focuses on three major areas, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) /Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), and pregnancy prevention.

The following topics are covered in the unit (1) body parts and function, (2) the reproductive system; (3) public and private behaviors, (4) boundary issues, (5) self-esteem, (6) good touch bad touch, (7) reproduction, and (8) self-advocacy as it relates to developing friendships, sexual decision-making, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and pregnancy prevention. Its main purpose is to introduce and reinforce concepts in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy while catering to the wide spectrum of reading levels within these special education classes through the use of pictorial stories, puzzles, games and simple meaningful language. Students learn how to take charge of their sexual health by communicating effectively and making responsible decisions. It is the hope of the author that the information provided here will help this population to reduce the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, other STDs and prevent unwanted pregnancies through behavioral change.

Lorna Nation
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