Autism Toolbox a resource for Scottish Schools

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Masturbation 

Inappropriate touching/ masturbation in public are issues for both boys and girls. It can be embarrassing for other people. It is also an offence to masturbate in public and can have serious consequences for the person involved.

Most commonly issues arise around puberty, but younger children also masturbate and adults who have not been taught about boundaries may masturbate in public.

It is important for parents and school staff to take a lead in planning and delivering this aspect of the curriculum. Sometimes speech and language therapy and occupational therapy can be involved, especially if resources and input need to be more personalized.

Frequent masturbation may be a sign of infection. A doctor may need to check this.

Some young people are ashamed to talk about masturbation. Some even think it is against the law. Information about private touching should be taught to all students as part of Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood so they know it’s normal and OK.

Input on this topic may have to be ongoing. A duplicate approach by home and school enhances learning and shortens the time it takes most young people to change behaviour.

Think about
  • Social stories can help teach about appropriate behaviour.
  • OK / NOT OK chart. Pictures/ photos/symbols to show public places (not OK to masturbate) and private places at home (OK to masturbate)
  • Consistent signs/ symbols/ responses from school staff and parents/ family to say ‘that’s not appropriate’ when it occurs e.g thumbs down, shake of head, Makaton ‘stop’ sign or ‘not here’ symbol.
  • Allowing the young person private time at home to explore their bodies (bathtime, bedtime) and removing restrictive clothing/ pads.
  • Diversionary tactics/ activities e.g squeezy ball to keep hands busy
  • Other sensory activities to bring pleasure- bubble bath, exercise, deep massage on arms and legs (occupational therapist may teach this. Also resources from occupational therapy such a vibrating cushions.
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