Sexuality Education for Young People With Intellectual Disability: What to Teach and When to Teach It


5/8/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

5/8/2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

In collaboration with the Division for Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities (DPHMD)

Thursday, May 8
4-5 p.m. ET


Young people with intellectual disabilities need to learn about their developing bodies and emerging sexuality, yet sexuality education is often overlooked in teachers’ professional preparation. This program offers developmentally appropriate approaches to teaching factual knowledge, exploring emotions and feelings, and understanding physical actions and attractions. Special attention will be given to helping students avoid sexual abuse, understand sexual identity and orientation, and make good choices about sexual behavior.

Learner Outcomes:


After completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe three major areas of learning about sexuality: factual knowledge, emotions and feelings, and physical actions and attractions
  • List topics appropriate for initial, intermediate and advanced levels of learning in each of these areas
  • Discuss how to place a student with intellectual disabilities at the appropriate learning level
  • Develop strategies to approach difficult-to-teach concepts or issues related to sexuality



Westling DavidDavid L. Westling, Ed.D., is the Adelaide Worth Daniels Distinguished Professor of Special Education at Western Carolina University, School of Teaching and Learning, Cullowhee, NC. His research interests focus on inclusive post-secondary education for students with intellectual disabilities its impact on campus life. He is project director of the WCU University Participant Program and co-director of WCU’s Severe Disabilities Personnel Preparation Project. He is the author or co-author of five books and many journal articles on topics related to teaching students with intellectual disabilities.