ASERT does not offer crisis services through our Resource Center. If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health distress or thoughts of suicide please call or text 988 for support.
In the human services field, it is important to be open-minded and accepting of an individual’s gender identification and sexuality no matter what your views are on these subjects might be. Those you support have the right to understand and express themselves as human beings with regard to their gender identity and sexuality. Because the themes of sexuality and gender identification can be sensitive, and sometimes politicized, it is important for us to know how to support an individual who has questions, needs help understanding, feels isolated, or wants to express himself safely. Additionally, helping a person with Autism learn about gender identity and sexuality may increase his or her feelings of safety and confidence, which in turn make him or her less vulnerable to predatory or abusive behavior from others. Because our society is so very diverse, it can be helpful to know some terminology that is used to describe the cultural experiences of gender and sexuality. Using these terms can also show that you respect the person you support for who he or she is, which is a fundamental aspect of being person-centered as a professional.
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.