A sensitive issue has come up for a family I support...
Their 8 year old daughter on the autism spectrum (fairly high functioning) has started to touch herself/ masturbate quite viggorously as an apparent simming behaviour or release of tension. This seems to only be happening in the family home around her family members, over the last few weeks and they have sought my advice.
It is the end of our 2nd term of school here in South Africa, so it could be triggered by the excitement/nervousness of dealing with the transition of going into the school holidays? There are no other obvious truggers that we are aware of...
There are no concerns about this being sexual in nature (no concerns about any possible abuse).
I have suggested that mom talk to her openly and honestly about what she is doing (without any hint of critiscm) so that she feels safe to talk about what she is doing and why it helps her or why she needs to do it... To then talk about where she can appropriately do this and where it is not appropriate. To talk about the fact that this is private and should not be done in public spaces - around other people.
I am in the process of writing a social story for her to assist them with this.
I just wondered if anyone had any experience with this and could offer advice about how to best manage this sensitive issue?
We don't want her to develop insecurities or shame around it and want to handle it clearly and carefully to help her make sense of when and where it is ok to masterbate. And to also determine why she feels the need to do this (especially as she is so young) and see if she can find that same release in another more approrpaite way when she is around other people...
Your ideas aould be apprecaited.
Edited on June 30, 2017 - 1:12pm