Let’s talk about sex (and sexuality)

While certainly not a new topic of interest, the number of research studies and publications on the sexuality of people with autism has exploded in the past year.  Research shows more people with autism reporting they don’t conform to traditional sexual definitions.   In addition to having to navigate the world of having autism, they also have to figure out how to deal with exclusion based on sexual orientation and coming out.  They are a double disadvantaged community.   Also, females with autism seem to be at particular risk of poor sexual experiences.  This podcast reviews the research all leading to a reported need for better sexual education, and a promising intervention to help people with ASD.  Publications cited are:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29086210

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5570786/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27565655

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28877047

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28342163

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28299510

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28691307

Putting the pieces together around group social skills interventions

Individual research studies are great.  But even better is when someone takes these studies and puts them together to see if one study shows the same thing another does, and if they do is the effect size consistent?  Sometimes you can only do this by going old school and pooling the data from the individual studies.   This is especially helpful in determining the effectiveness of different interventions.  This week, Dr. Matthew Lerner and his colleagues at Stony Brook University  published a meta analysis of group social skills interventions.  They put together well-designed studies and asked:  do they work?  Are they better than getting nothing at all?  To find out, listen to this week’s ASF podcast.