Conference 2024

Sexuality and the Spectrum: Lessons on Sex, Dating, and Love, Autism Style


Session Description: Individuals on the autism spectrum are sexual beings yet are usually not taught the necessary skills to be successful in sexual and romantic relationships. This session, which features a woman on the autism spectrum sharing her firsthand perspective, will dispel some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding autism and dating, discuss the potential for using ABA to teach dating skills and the challenges involved with teaching these skills, and offer strategies and resources to help parents and clinicians begin conversations about relationships and sexuality with their family members and clients.


Bio: Amy Gravino was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and it was from this moment that a journey began. Amy successfully graduated high school in 2001, earned her BA in English in 2005, and in 2007, Amy was accepted into the master’s in applied Behavior Analysis program at Caldwell College in Caldwell, New Jersey. In 2011, Amy completed her thesis, which attempted to use the principles of ABA to teach adult males with Asperger's Syndrome how to ask someone out on a date. Amy has published work, including the textbook Special Education, Autism Spectrum Quarterly: the Autism Asperger Publishing Company newsletter; the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation newsletter and blog; and the official blog of Autism Speaks. She is presently authoring, The Naughty Autie, which chronicles her experiences with relationships, dating, and sexuality as a woman on the autism spectrum. Amy is a Certified Autism Specialist, autism consultant, seasoned public speaker, and the founder of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, LLC.