Educators' perceptions of sex education needs for students with autism spectrum disorder

Kan Diana KWOK, Sze Ching Cici LAM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Introduction: Students with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) are included as one of the student groups with special education needs (SEN) in Hong Kong. They are placed in mainstream schools with the support of inclusive education strategies. However school educators have reported a lack of systemic and teaching strategy support. The purpose of this study was 1) describe educators’ perceptions of sex education needs of their students with an autism spectrum disorder in secondary schools in Hong Kong, and 2) explore educational intervention strategies.

Methods: This presentation was informed by the concepts of comprehensive sexuality education and social-relational model of disability. The interview transcripts were part of the data collected from a larger sexuality research project in Hong Kong. Qualitative phenomenological interviews were carried out to collect data from schools and social service agencies. In this specific presentation, transcripts came from a subset of 9 teachers who have encountered students with special educational needs and experienced professional training in sexuality education. Phenomenological data analysis was carried out through Nvivo to identify common themes related to teachers’ experiences. Issues of trustworthiness in qualitative study were addressed based on qualitative research paradigm.

Results: The following themes were identified: 1) “Understanding Chinese sexuality within cultural context – moral and medical perspective” 2) “Remedial education vs proactive education” 3) “Disempowering when facing barriers and prejudice” 4) “Professional training could be empowering” 5) “Suggested educational strategies: paradigm shift and rights-based”.

Discussion: These findings highlight a need for additional research and enhanced rights-based sexuality education training to ensure that students with autism spectrum disorder have their sexual rights and inclusive educational needs met. Copyright © 2019 12th Autism-Europe International Congress.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventThe 12th Autism-Europe International Congress - Nice, France
Duration: 13 Sept 201915 Sept 2019


ConferenceThe 12th Autism-Europe International Congress
Internet address


Kwok, K. D., & Lam S. C. C. (2019, September). Educators' perceptions of sex education needs for students with autism spectrum disorder. Poster presented at The 12th Autism-Europe International Congress, Nice, France.


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