Developmentally Delayed Persons with Sexual Behavior Problems: Treatment, Management, Supervision, and Program Manual and Forms

A two-volume set
by Gerry D. Blasingame

Published by Wood ‘N’ Barnes, Oklahoma City
Available at

Review by David S. Prescott

Clinicians working with developmental delayed sexual abusers are familiar with the astonishing dearth of resources for this and similar populations. In addition to an upcoming book by Jim Haaven, Wood’N’Barnes have produced a two-volume set that provides a succinct but comprehensive overview of areas vital to understanding and treating this population. Both volumes are written in a sympathetic and straightforward style, and will be of considerable benefit to anyone working with this population.

Throughout the set, Blasingame continually sharpens his focus, beginning with a chapter on “sexuality at a glance”, through considerations on sexuality among developmentally delayed people, to sexually abusive and objectionable behaviors among this population. Clinical and forensic issues are discussed with extensive support from the literature. There is an overview of assessment and treatment methods that will serve as both an introduction to newer clinicians, and provide useful ideas to those more experienced. Areas of consideration specific to this population range from mental age to counterfeit deviance. There is also a focus on how laws designed to protect the developmentally delayed can also inhibit their healthy sexual development, as well as discussion of competence and culpability. Blasingame concludes with ideas for building partnerships within community and group care settings

Blasingame’s style will no doubt elicit compassion for this population. He reviews factors that influence the development and well being of developmentally delayed individuals, including the higher incidence of sexual victimization and the shocking extent of abuse in placement by service providers. It also includes common perceptions of this population as more childlike, and the subsequent discomfort of families and providers coming to terms with the sexuality of the developmentally delayed. Blasingame further takes on controversial areas ranging from sexuality policy to the use of pornography and treatment of denial as well as less understood areas such as the use of polygraphy and actuarial risk assessment scales. In every case, Blasingame refers to diverse areas of research to arrive at his conclusions.

In the second volume, Blasingame includes the Program Manual as well as numerous forms and worksheets from his agency. In addition to a brief overview of cognitive-behavioral strategies and relapse prevention, he includes an overview of a useful “ladder to trouble” or potential offense chain. Blasingame produces worksheets that will be useful in diverse settings. A consent form, safety plans, ideas for healthy self-talk, an overview of thinking errors, and self-statements regarding decision-making and boundaries are provided.

Although not stated, this set is the result of many years of working directly with this population, as well as strong attempts to ensure best practices through an empirically grounded approach. Although based on his own program, the set never appears as an advertisement of his services. To the contrary, these volumes incorporate many of the best thoughts of others in the field. Blasingame’s standards for evaluation are conservative while his treatment approach is inventive and refreshing. The result is an experience that challenges practitioners to become all the more understanding and engaging.