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Keywords:

  • Behavioural contract;
  • cognitive behaviour therapy;
  • differential reinforcement of other behaviour;
  • learning disability;
  • sexually harmful behaviour;
  • token economy

Accessible summary

  •  Children and young people with learning disabilities who present sexually harmful behaviour are often not allowed into the community.
  •  This study describes the work carried out with a boy with sexually harmful behaviour attending a residential special school.
  •  The staff helped teach the boy how to behave in social situations and about sex, consent and relationships.
  •  Afterwards, the boy was able to participate in supervised community activities.

Summary

Children and young people with learning disabilities who present sexually harmful behaviour are marginalised and do not always participate in community activities. This case study describes a multi-component intervention that successfully reduced the sexually harmful behaviour of a 16-year-old boy with a mild learning disability. The intervention was comprised of cognitive behaviour therapy, Social Stories™ and a behavioural programme that reinforced appropriate behaviour with social praise and access to preferred items and a range of community activities. Following the intervention, he was able to participate in a wide range of supervised community activities.