Back to Presenter Directory
Puberty, Dating and Sexuality in ASD


Two particular challenges faced by youth with autism spectrum disorders as they transition to adulthood are (a) social functioning in adult relationships, and (b) poor health outcomes, including the high risk of victimization. Yet, recent research documents an interest in sexuality by most and an interest in romantic relationships by many individuals with autism. This breakout session will provide an opportunity for conversation about puberty, dating, and sexuality in autism. The unique perspectives of individuals with autism, their family members, and service providers are welcome.

About the Presenter(s)

Susan Faja

Susan Faja

Dr. Susan Faja studied neuroscience before receiving her doctoral degree in child clinical psychology. Her clinical work at Boston Children’s Hospital focuses on the early diagnosis of children with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. Her research at the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School focuses on executive control, social cognition, and social perception and seeks to understand changes in underlying brain systems resulting from interventions using electrophysiological and behavioral measurements. This approach allows for exploration of the developmental processes that contribute to behavioral symptoms, investigation of how interventions work, and provides a platform for rigorously testing novel interventions. The Faja Lab is also interested in understanding why individuals with autism have such striking differences in their development. Understanding these individual differences will lead to better understanding of the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders and allow for treatments to be delivered with more precision and efficiency.