KJK partners Susan Stone and Kristina Supler are to be featured speakers at a national conference of Title IX professionals on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. Susan and Kristina’s presentation, titled, “Understanding Sexuality and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Considerations for College Students on the Spectrum,” focuses on the unique challenges faced by students with ASD who are embroiled in university Title IX proceedings relating to sex and consent, both as complainants and respondents.
In the presentation, Susan and Kristina share their real-world experience working with students on the ASD spectrum during Title IX proceedings, emphasizing that students with ASD are more likely than their neurotypical peers to become victims of manipulation and abuse, including sexual abuse. Students with ASD who are respondents in Title IX proceedings may also find that policies surrounding sexual misconduct and consequences may not take appropriate account of ASD individuals’ social perception and capabilities in assessing and adjudicating complaints.
Susan and Kristina’s presentation highlights opportunities for administrators to offer accommodations, interventions, and resources to support these vulnerable students through the Title IX process. As veteran practitioners in the Title IX space, including years of advocacy experience in both administrative proceedings and federal lawsuits, Susan and Kristina offer a unique and incisive look at the functional realities of the Title IX process, as well as the experiences of students as complainants, respondents, and witnesses. In presenting their recommendations for interventions and supports, Susan and Kristina also draw upon extensive advocacy experience for students in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act, advocacy in the juvenile and criminal defense space, as well as advocacy in the context of special education proceedings.
The transition to college is a challenging time in any student’s life, regardless of ASD status. Title IX proceedings can further amplify and contribute to the chaos and stress of this time, especially when combined with the experience of being a student with ASD. Administrators tasked with supporting complainants and respondents in Title IX proceedings can create mutual benefits when approaching ASD students with deeper understanding and appropriate supports. To discuss further, or for more information, please contact KJK’s Student and Athlete Defense attorneys.