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Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Sexuality and Behaviours that Concern People with ASD may need support with their understanding of relationships and sexuality. They may present with behaviours that render them vulnerable or open to misinterpretation or they may have a focus of arousal that is unusual or of concern to others.

Sometimes people on the spectrum may have committed sexual offences or be in danger of doing so and have typically had limited access to sex and relationships information that is meaningful to them.

They may be engaging in sexual behaviours that can be harmful to themselves. They may be stuck in a pattern of sexualised behaviour that relates to a significant incident in their past, an incident that was pleasurable that they seek to replicate without understanding that contexts change as does the social appropriateness of behaviours with age.

Sometimes the difficulties may be more subtle, difficulties with reading body language for example or knowing how to tell whether a person is attracted to them or not. How does ‘the dating game ‘work and how do I distinguish flirtatious behaviour from that of someone who is just being friendly? Those with a more classic presentation of autism and additional learning difficulties may need support with expressing their sexuality on a more solo basis and with understanding the social rules that govern privacy.

Fiona Speirs works with these issues in a consultancy capacity with a range of people on the autistic spectrum, their parents and carers. She is able to tailor sessions to suit need and can either work directly with the people needing support or with parents and carers who need to be supported with respect to the work that they are carrying out. Often, a combination of both is called for.

Training events for parents or organisations are also available on request. For further information, please contact Fiona as below:

Sometimes they may be confused about their sexual orientation or fail to understand the ‘dual consent’ aspect of relationships.

F.Speirs Website: 24 Larch Close, Arnold, Nottingham NG5 8SB Tel. & Fax: (0115) 9671866 e-mail: