Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2023

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Moses Ikiugu


sexuality, sexual health education, teaching, disability, pediatric, adolescents, developmental milestones, caregivers, healthcare, occupational therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience barriers to learning about sexual health education even though there is documented interest in this subject. Additionally, caregivers of children with disabilities lack experience and knowledge of their children’s sexual developmental needs. My capstone project aimed to provide comprehensive sexual education to adolescents with disabilities and education on childhood sexual development to healthcare professionals, educators, and parents. The literature and needs assessment indicated a need for sexual health education for both students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and caregivers. Due to viewing clients in a holistic manner, occupational therapy is uniquely qualified to address sexuality. Using principles and assessments from occupational therapy theoretical models and a previously conducted needs assessment, I created a sexual health curriculum for students with disabilities and a presentation about pediatric sexual development for parents, educators, and healthcare providers. I used the OPISI to measure students' initial interests in sexual health topics and the ACLS to determine student’s cognitive abilities. The curriculum was adapted to meet the learning needs of the students.

Thirteen students with disabilities participated in the sexual health curriculum and thirty-two stakeholders participated in learning about pediatric sexual milestones. I used a Qualtrics survey questionnaire to measure participants’ pre- and posttest knowledge of the topic. I used t-tests to analyze the outcome data. The findings indicated that participants in this project demonstrated an increase in their sexual health knowledge after the program. These results imply that occupational therapy has a role in educating others about sexual health and pediatric sexual milestones.