Working with children and youth who act out sexually

Children who act out sexually are very different than adult sex offenders.  Although there is a scope of “normal” sexual behaviours in children, sexual behaviours can become problematic if a child engages in sexual behaviour or has sexual knowledge outside of the norm for their developmental level, engages in sexual behaviour as a means to cope or if the child’s sexual behaviors are interfering with typical activities or is causing harm to others. Children may act out sexually for many different reasons, such as a history of trauma, overly sexualized etc., rather than for sexual gratification and/or control as is most common within adult sex offenders. 

Children who act out sexually have different developmental needs that are essential to address in their course of treatment. Part of the treatment plans that they will need would be developing a Safety Plan that addresses any potential or identified risk factors. The Safety Plan should provide tangible guidelines for the parents and other adult supervisors, allowing room for the child to grow in his/her social development. Since children who act out sexually are a heterogeneous group, there is no one Safety Plan that fits all clients. To develop an effective safety plan, the clinician must understand the child's developmental stage, the “type” of sexually acting out the child is engaged in, the child’s strengths and weaknesses, and many other factors.



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  • Diversity Emotional Wellness Center
    Wallace Wong


    Wallace Wong is registered psychologist in both California and British Columbia.  He has been working with the LGBT population since 1996.  While he continued to work with the LGBT population, he has also worked with children and youth who present with different sexual behavioural issues/ juvenile sex offenders for more than16 years.  He is currently working for the Ministry of Children and Family Development at the Adolescent and Children Sexual Health Program (ACSH), and the Gender Health Program.  Dr. Wong also maintains his private practice working mainly with children and youth with different sexual health related concerns. He has made numerous trainings and workshops both locally and internationally related to this population. 




    Dr. Wong has done research for the transgender population for numbers of years, and they can be found in different professional journals.  Dr. Wong is also an author and published 2 transgender children book called, When Kathy is Keith, It’s Gay and It’s Okay, and My Positive Uncle. 


  • Diversity Emoitonal Wellness Center
    CHristopher Cook