Family Life and Sexual Health

In the final part of the findings study, I reviewed several sexuality education curricula that focus on teaching people with ID/DD. Since the end of the paper, I have had the opportunity to look at more teaching tools. I plan to continue reviewing the curricula, teaching tools and methods as I encounter them.

Name: Family Life and Sexual Health (F.L.A.S.H.)

Source: Seattle/King County School District

Audience and Focus: Special Education, High school level, Sexual Health Education


The F.L.A.S.H. Curriculum is one of the most comprehensive teaching tools available publicly. Out of the box (or printer) has all of the materials needed to do assessments, communicate with parents, and run the 28 section course. The curriculum addresses the difference between values and philosophy and explains that completely values free education is not desirable. It then gives educators a set of tools to answer questions that may be values based, reinforcing the facts of an answer and either opening the floor for opinions from other students on the values surrounding the topic or deferring to parents and clergy.

The F.L.A.S.H. curriculum uses the “Trusted Adult” method, in which a learner identifies one person in their life, family, staff, or other adult, to be the point person who can be asked difficult questions and bring the learning from class into everyday life. Additionally, F.L.A.S.H. has letters to be sent to the trusted adult at the end of each unit that outline the lesson and give ideas for starting conversations with the learner.

F.L.A.S.H. is a great starting point for developing more specialized lessons. One major fault in the curriculum is its heteronormative treatment of issues like dating, sexual identity, and families. In the larger curriculum, there is not really any discussion of alternative family structures. In the family section, gay and lesbian families are mentioned in an optional documentary. The issue of transgender does is not addressed. In fact, the entire chapter on gender is based around using the correct bathroom (an important skill, but not really helpful for people who have questions about gender identity).

F.L.A.S.H. is the most accessible tool for those looking to teach specialized sexuality education because it is based on teaching methods for special education, is fairly comprehensive, and free through the King County website. The complete inclusion of tools makes it easier to forgive the complete exclusion of non-heterosexual, non-cisgendered people, but only because the language and structure of the lesson plans makes it easy to augment a lesson. It is also worth noting that the F.L.A.S.H. curriculum for typical high school students does have one chapter of LGBT issues that could be adapted for this curriculum.

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Fat Feminist Sex Educator.