Health Education and Relationships through Theater (HEART)

The Health Education and Relationships through Theater (HEART) Study is evaluating a program designed to teach young people how to build healthy relationships, understand boundaries, interpret romantic feelings, gain sexual health knowledge, and develop positive communication skills, including consent. Participants are engaged in these topics through live theater, role play, games, active discussion, and the participation of a trusted adult.
Who: Teens 14-19 year olds with specific developmental or intellectual disabilities, including those with autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s, those who receive services for autism-related social skills deficits and those with mild intellectual disabilities.

What: All teens who participate in the study will take three surveys about what they know about relationships. Half of those teens will be randomly assigned to the no-cost social skills group.

Why: People with autism and/or intellectual disabilities may know less about relationships and take more time to learn about sexual health. Starting education early can build positive self-awareness and decision-making skills.

Where: Locations throughout greater Philadelphia.

When: Ongoing through fall 2020. We are currently enrolling!

Cost: Participation is free. Teens who complete the screening survey will receive a $10 gift card. Teens who enroll will get a $25 gift card for each survey they complete (up to three surveys).

By taking part in the HEART study, your teen can help us understand the impact of our new program.

See if you’re eligible for HEART here!

If you would like to enroll or want more information on the curriculum, contact us at 1.844.972.5672 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will screen to determine eligibility.

 Like The HEART Healthy Realtionstion Study on Facebook to see more information about our study and get updates!


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This project is funded by Grant Number 90AP2690-01-00 from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Its contents are solely the responsibility of PHMC and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS, ACF.

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