Leslie Walker-Hirsch is an internationally recognized educational consultant who specializes in social and sexual development for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She is a dynamic and stimulating lecturer and is the co-creator of the widely used CIRCLES curriculum series. These multi-media teaching materials for improving social competence and judgment is designed especially to address the learning styles of youth and adults with cognitive disabilities. It is in its 5th iteration, with the latest published in 2007 and distributed by The James Stanfield Company.
She teaches in the Graduate School of Educational Specialties at The University of New Mexico.
Her recent book, The Facts of Life...and More: Sexuality and Intimacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities, was published by Paul H. Brookes Publishers in 2007. This book has variety of contributors and provides a basis for looking at social development and sexuality among those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was written for special educators, teachers, parents, social workers, psychologists and university students as essential preparation for their professions.
She is a contributing author in Down Syndrome: Visions for the 21st Century, Chapter 22, “Building Relationships/Social and Sexual Development”. She is a contributing author in the AAIDD (formerly AAMR) book, A Guide to Consent, Chapter 4, “Consent to Sexual Activity”, which has been a groundbreaking one. Many articles in highly regarded journals and newsletters add to her credentials.
Leslie Walker-Hirsch has earned fellowship status in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD, formerly AAMR). She is the founder and former chairperson of the AAIDD Special Interest Group on Social and Sexual Concerns and has served at the President of the General Division of that esteemed organization.
Leslie Walker-Hirsch serves on the National Clinical Advisory Board of the National Down Syndrome Society, providing information and supporting parents and professionals who serve teens and adults with Down syndrome on issues pertaining to social development and sexuality.
Leslie Walker-Hirsch serves on the Procter and Gamble panel of experts for 8th grade. She has been a speaker at professional trainings across the US and abroad, including The President’s Committee on Mental Retardation Next Generation Leadership Forum, among countless others.
Leslie Walker-Hirsch has an Individualized Master’s Degree in Special Education and Administration. She consults to schools, agencies and states to assist individuals with intellectual disabilities, their families and the professionals who support them on issues related to developing social competence and sexual safety.
She is married, has three adult children, three grandchildren and a dog. She has her office and lives happily in Santa Fe, NM.
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