How To Date

Like A Pro
Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered

Katherine McLaughlin
Katherine, an expert on sexuality and developmental disabilities, has taught sexuality education to people with developmental disabilities as well as trained them to be peer sexuality educators themselves. She has trained nationally at conferences and workshops, has developed and led parent workshops on Talking to Your Kids with Disabilities about Sexuality, and has trained staff on how to address sexuality with people with disabilities. Katherine has coauthored two curricula for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England: Sexuality Education for Adults with Developmental Disabilities and Sexual Violence in Teenage Lives. Katherine leads workshops as a private consultant and also teaches Human Sexuality at Keene State College in NH.


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Describe who is a potential date Describe ways to let someone know you are interested Demonstrate tips for asking someone out Describe preparing for your date Describe ways to deal with rejection

Why this webinar? Although there are many myths about people with disabilities like they don’t have any needs to date or be in relationships, we know that is not true. This workshop is all about dating like a professional. But, as I am sure some of you know, dating isn’t all good. There some sides to dating that are difficult. We are going to talk about ALL of that, the good, the bad of dating.

Here is the agenda of the workshop… Introduction/Icebreaker Who is it okay to date? Letting someone know you are interested, getting to know someone Asking someone out
What to do when they say yes What to do when they say no

Preparing for your date


What are the good parts of dating? What are the hard parts of dating?

Group Agreements


1. All feelings are okay. It is okay to feel whatever you feel - embarrassed, fear, shy…


2. Show respect for everyone’s opinion. We don’t all have to agree with each other – but we do need to respect each other. Express your feelings in a kind way. For example: Do not say… “That’s gross!” Instead say… “I don’t like that.”

3. No questions is a silly question. It is okay and important to ask questions; just not personal and private questions. For example, you can say, “How do I ask someone out?” But it is not okay to ask someone if they had sex last night. 4. Talking about relationships can be fun - but it can also be tough work! We all agree to do the best we can at each class - to listen, to share, and to be respectful.

Who is it okay to date?
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Where can you find these people that are okay to date? Who is it not okay to date?

Your teacher? – Staff person? – Your best friends brother? – A movie star? – Two girls? Two guys? – Your best friend’s ex-girlfriend? – Someone who is in a relationships? – Person who is not interested in you? – Under 18?

Okay, so, now we have someone that fits our ideas of someone who is okay to date. Now, we have to let them know we are interested in that way, right? How can you do that?

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Flirting: what is it and when is it harassing? Staring: what are the rules for staring at people? What about touching their bodies? Kissing them? Talking on the phone or texting? Sending a naked picture of yourself to their phone. Is that okay?

Roleplay: Two people to volunteer, one will ask the other out and then other will decide yes or no?

Does the person asking ALWAYS have to be a man? If they say “yes”- you need a plan?

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What? Where? When? How are you and the person going to get there?

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If they say “no”- how can we deal with a no? Is it okay to ask again? If they say no again, stop asking and accept gracefully…. What does gracefully mean? How can we feel better after we get a NO? What are things we can do? What are things we can think?

Preparing For Your Date

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What are important things to do to get ready for your date? What to wear? Shower, shave … Do you need to bring anything? Who pays for the date??

Wrap-up: What is one thing you want to remember about today’s webinar?

Moving from Friend to Partner or Sweetheart
Step 1: Feeling interested. Can a potential girlfriend/boyfriend be…. • Someone of the same gender? • Someone already in a relationship? • Someone who has said she/he is not interested? • A paid support person? • Someone under 18?

Step 2: Getting to know someone.
Flirting – what is flirting? – Talking on the telephone. – Ask him/her to join you at a group activity. – Ask him/her out on a date.

Step 3: Becoming a couple What you may need to talk about.  Are you only dating each other?  What sexual behaviors are okay and not okay?  How will you spend time together and apart?

What else do you have to talk about?

Continue the discussion through our FORUMS! You will receive an email shortly with a link to our discussion board. The PowerPoint and recording will also be provided in this email. Email Phuong ( ) if you experience any issues.
Website: Information & Referral Call Center: 1-855-828-8476 Next Webinar: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 2:00-3:00 PM, EDT Apps for Autism: The Apps That Can Make A Difference And Why