Circles: Intimacy & Relationships, Level 1

Home » Circles: Intimacy & Relationships, Level 1


“Excellent! Circles helps our developmentally disabled young adult 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.

This classic video program, used in over 10,000 facilities across the U.S., 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 now available to them.

Circles 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. Written by Marlyn P. Champagne, RN MSW and Leslie Walker-Hirsch IMEd., FAAIDD

Circles Level 1 is made up of two 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.

Media Feed Twitter: