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

The importance if IQ in an autism outcome.

Cognitive ability, measured by intellectual quotient or IQ, has been thought to predict response to intervention, social abilities, adaptive behavior and long term outcome.  Numerous studies have shown that it can influence what is labeled as a good outcome.  However, two studies this week point out how those across the spectrum in cognitive ability still benefit from early intervention and make friends on the playground.  In both studies, there were factors that were more important for outcome than IQ.  So it may be an important factor in outcome, but not the only factor.