It is important that sexual behaviours displayed by children and young people are recognised at the earliest opportunity and identified correctly. All children have a healthy sexual developmental pathway and this needs to be recognised in order to understand when sexual behaviour may be inappropriate or harmful for their age and stage of development so the child can be properly supported.
Hackett’s (2010) Continuum of Behaviour can support in identifying when behaviour might be healthy, inappropriate, problematic, abusive or violent.
If behaviours are identified as inappropriate, usually some education is all that is needed to ensure a child is aware of the concerns and what is expected of them instead. Click here for some useful resources.
However, if behaviour is identified as problematic, abusive or harmful a more specialist assessment will be needed to identify the correct support and intervention for everyone involved.