Circles: Intimacy & Relationships, Level 1

Home » Circles: Intimacy & Relationships, Level 1


“Excellent! Circles helps our developmentally disabled young adults and autistic adults understand different boundaries in relationships. Well done!”- Dr. Michelle Friedman, Adult Special Education Counselor

Teach your students how to recognize social boundaries and avoid exploitation with the all-new edition of Circles® Intimacy & Relationships: Level 1.

This classic video program, used in thousands of facilities across the U.S. and Canada for over 30 years, teaches your students to recognize exploitative relationships as well as develop mutually respectful ones. The Circles program assists students in discriminating different levels of intimacy and adapting their behaviors accordingly. The program teaches students how relationships can be formed and maintained according to the social norms & social boundaries of our day and age. Thus, the Circles program lays the foundation for people with disabilities to manage the amount of personal responsibility and social integration available to them.

Circles Intimacy & Relationships: Level 1, presents to special needs students some extremely abstract concepts in a very simple and concrete manner. The connection between the kind of relationship and the corresponding level of intimacy is demonstrated visually, making it easy for students to understand this important concept. This program uses step-by-step dramatizations, so it is an ideal introduction to the Circle Paradigm, especially for students with mild to moderate cognitive impairment.

The original Circles Paradigm was conceived and written by Marklyn P. Champagne, RN, MSW and Leslie Walker-Hirsch, IMEd, FAAIDD.

Circles Intimacy & Relationships: Level 1, has been completely remade and includes many additions to further emphasize the guidelines of social boundaries as well as to apply the Circles Paradigm to current cultural and technological trends.

The NEW, revised Circles Intimacy & Relationships: Level 1 released in 2018 was written by Marklyn P. Champagne, RN, MSW, Leslie Walker-Hirsch, IMEd, FAAIDD, and James Stanfield, EdD.

What makes this edition of Circles better than ever?


  1. Recently revised, updated and filmed, this new edition of Circles reflects current cultural trends and includes a more diverse cast of characters.
  2. This edition of Circles presents a more in-depth description of the types of social interaction appropriate in each circle to promote safe touch.
  3. This edition of Circles features an emphasis on consensus, and the right to refuse touch (even from people close to you) is stressed throughout the program.
  4. The Red Stranger Circle and the Red Stranger Space are introduced as two distinct circles to highlight the difference between total strangers, who always stay far away, and those strangers who actually might become part of a person’s social network, even if briefly. The giant Circles wall graph has been similarly updated to reflect this improvement.
  5. This edition of Circles includes a segment on social media and cyber safety.
  6. The updated Teacher’s Guide enhances the curriculum with step-wise instructions for implementing the lessons contained in the Circles Curriculum and provides ideas for reinforcing the concepts presented.
  7. The updated Teacher’s Guide now includes Discussion questions to survey strengths and weaknesses in the area of social-developmental education. These questions can be used as student pre- and post-tests.
  8. This new edition of Circles includes two new segments that focus on students of similar age to the main character: classmates and unknown students at the same school. These segments emphasize that other people of the same age who seem familiar, are not necessarily known to the student.
  9. This new edition of Circles aligns PERFECTLY with the Circles Social Skills Utility™ app for iOS and Chromebook!
  10. We’ve included Closed Captioning to accommodate the needs of even more students.

Circles Level 1 is made up of three parts:

Part 1: Social Distance

Help your students “see” social boundaries. Explain the relationship between the level of intimacy between people and the way they TOUCH, TALK to, and TRUST each other. You’ll teach your students relationship boundaries and relationship-specific behaviors. For example, it’s okay to hug your mother, but it’s not okay to hug the mail carrier.

Part 2: Relationship Building

Demonstrate how intimacy levels change as relationships change. Emphasize the role of mutual choice among individuals when deciding what level of intimacy will characterize a relationship. This concept is critical for protecting your students from exploitation.

Part 3: Related Topics in Sexuality Education

Further emphasize sexual education topics relevant to your class with the 13 topics covered in Part 3. Although this unit is not video based, it is rich with support activities and relevant discussion topics to make the Circles Curriculum comprehensive in scope.


4 reviews for Circles Curriculum: Intimacy & Relationships, Level 1 #W1004.18

  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    Great visuals and DVDs especially for ASD students.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5


    Circles has my relationships as~
    Yellow-Almost Friends
    Green-After Acquaintances
    Blue-Close Friends
    Actually, it’s okay to hug and love you r best friend, but it’s not okay to hug acquaintances.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5


    Help people “see” social boundaries. Explain the relationship between the level of intimacy between people and the way they TOUCH, TALK to, and TRUST each other. You’ll teach you friends, teacher, and classmates relationship boundaries and relationship-specific and behaviors. For example, it’s ok to hug and touch your best friend, but it’s not ok to hug bullies, acquaintances, strangers, and community helpers and workers.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5


    Great visuals and hands on learning experience to teach social boundaries.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Media Feed Twitter: