Developing Safe Intimate Online Skills for Autistic Persons/Those with ASD


General Information

Developing Safe Intimate Online Skills for Autistic Persons/Those with ASD.
Nicholas A. Maio-Aether, MSPSY, BCBA, LBA
Live! Tuesday, November 17, 2020 TIME: 10:30 am -2:45 pm

Recording Access Period November 18, 2020- November 28, 2020


Too often, we hear horror stories about the dangers of online sexual and romantic behaviors, particularly for those on the Spectrum. As clinicians of any sort working with this population, we may have heard of, witnessed, or even been involved in restrictive interventions intended to keep these persons safe. However, for a population that is heavily tied to tech and has limited opportunities and skills for in-person human connections, the internet is a potentially ideal medium for developing and fostering intimacy, reducing loneliness, and connecting with community in general. Even in the neurotypical population, online communication has become a common norm for connecting, using apps and sites for everything from social learning to online gaming, to hooking up. Thus, it is imperative that we, as clinicians, regardless of particular background, have accessible and applicable skills to assist Autistic humans in their digital journeys, especially in regard to pursuing intimacy. This presentation is geared toward practitioners of any field, and is designed to provide a framework for developing online safety and intimacy skills for clients who are Autistic/those with ASD.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will identify three common barriers faced by those on the Spectrum when it comes to meeting in-person, that justify medical necessity for treatment geared at online communication.
  2. Attendees will match appropriate methodology and best practice with 3 common online concerns: Catfishing; Age-Related Mistakes vs Pedophilia; Moving from Online to In-Person.
  3. Attendees will select appropriate ethical considerations for each of the above-listed concerns and treatment applications.
  4. Attendees will identify the logic and methodology of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which can be used across licensures and disciplines, as a simple means of addressing online compulsions that are either illegal or otherwise detrimental to functioning.

Presenter Bio and Disclosure Statement

Nicholas Maio-Aether, MSPSY, BCBA, LBA is owner and CEO of Empowered: A Center for Sexuality, LLC, the first agency in the US that focuses solely on sexuality services for all populations, including those with Autism and/or Intellectual Disabilities. He is demonstrably competent in addressing sexual behavior, and has coined a term for what is now a growing movement: Sexual Behavior Analysis. Nicholas has been working in Sexuality Education since 2003, when he was trained by GLSEN to start their Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) program for the states of Alaska and Hawaii. He has been a Licensed Behavior Analyst since 2013. Nicholas has since had further extensive training, including over 200 documented CEs/CEUs in sexuality and sexual behavior, attending a Sexual Attitudes Reassessment (SAR) and completing a 300-hour supervised practicum in Sex Therapy under AASECT Diplomat of Sex Therapy, Linda Weiner, LMSW, CST, CSTS, CDST. Nicholas has recently completed all educational coursework for his MAMFT and is currently in an AAMFT-Approved Practicum toward licensure as a LMFT, expected sometime in Winter of 2021. Nicholas is also a Certified PEERS Instructor and leads his own Sociosexual Skills Class that incorporates gaming into sexuality education and application. Nicholas has been featured on About Sex Podcast, ESpecial Learning Podcast, and in the journal Contemporary Sexuality. His organization and procedures have been featured on The Daily BA. Nicholas has presented for AASECT, MOABA, and ABAI. He is the only BCBA in the world to have his exact skillset, and he is grateful to be sharing this with clinicians from multiple fields. His specializations are: Autism and Disability; LGBTQIA+ Family Systems and Stigmas; Kinks and Paraphilias.


 11:00 am: Introduction
11:05 am: Webinar begins
12:30 pm: 10 minute break
12:40 pm: First Q&A session
12:50 pm: Webinar resumes
1:45 pm: Second Q&A session
2:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms


Credit Hour Information

Behavior Analysts earn 3 CEUs* (Learning)

Psychologists*, social workers**, counselors** earn 3 CE credit hours

Occupational Therapists* earn .3 Aota CEUs

Continuing education not available for other professions

*CE for viewing Live or Recording  ** CE for viewing LIVE ONLY

Must pass post-test with 80% or above and submit all attendance codes

For ABAC’s continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page

Target Audience

Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are interested in the topic to join us. 

Not all interested parties may receive continuing education for this event. Check credit hour information for professions eligible for continuing education. Please also check the level of the event and learning objectives to make sure it is appropriate for you.