You are the specialist support assistant for Olwyn, who has learning and communication disabilities. Olwyn is 10 years old and her developmental level is estimated to be more like a six- or seven-year-old’s. Olwyn has managed with support in mainstream school, but her pattern of behaviour has now raised concerns. Olwyn appeared to have learned some of the boundaries between private and public behaviour, but has recently started to masturbate when she is in the classroom. You have raised this issue with her father, who is the main family contact for the school. He said that the behaviour had also become an issue at home. You were glad Olwyn’s father seemed able to talk about this sensitive problem, but are now uncomfortable that he wants to recap the situation each time you meet. Today you found Olwyn without her underwear in the boys’ toilets and a couple of sheepish-looking boys just leaving. You have previously spoken with Olwyn’s class teacher, who took the view that the child was showing immature behaviour as part of her disability. In that conversation, the teacher dismissed your unease about Olwyn’s father, saying you are just embarrassed. You feel today’s events raise a new and different pattern and that it should be taken seriously, but you are disinclined to speak with the class teacher again. Additionally, you have become uneasy about how Olwyn behaves towards the new driver on her transport to school for some days of the week. You find it hard to identify what is awry, but are concerned to hear that he also runs a specialist sports club that Olwyn attends. You do not want to overreact, but equally you do not feel her behaviour should be explained away as part of the disability. ● What are the main issues that concern you about this situation?
● What should probably be your next steps?