A Leading Source of Experimental Internet Gas
The science on pedophilia suggests that it's more like a sexual orientation and that you can't decide to not be a pedophile any more than you can decide to not be gay. People don't want to hear this because they don't want to hear that being gay is anything at all like being a pedophile, and they accuse you of "calling gays pedophiles" or "trying to normalize pedophilia" which isn't even remotely true; if you want to see some real impotent rage, try telling someone about the actual science. Fetishes in general can't really be cured, and while pedophilia isn't actually technically a fetish, it's close. Actual psychiatric treatment for pedophilia consists of teaching them ways to resist their urges rather than trying to get rid of those urges (which is known not to work).
I learned a huge amount about the psychology of paedophilia from an episode of the podcast "The Mental Illness Happy Hour" which is sadly behind a paywall now or I'd link it, but it was an interview with the US's #1 anti-paedo cop. Basically there are two types of "paedophile" (defined as someone who sexually abuses children):
The first is the "classic paedophile". This is someone who has a romantic interest in children, and who believes that what they are doing is an act of love. They usually convince themselves that the children are able to reciprocate affection and are in love with them. This is I think the kind of offender that you are describing, and unfortunately I think this is the kind of offender that Thad is. Other cows in this category include people like Clawshrimpy, Sarah Nyberg or Michael Jackson, autistic fantasists who are so emotionally under-developed that they can only have romantic feelings for non-adults and are in denial about how much harm they cause. Whether these people are curable is doubtful, as you say it's almost like an orientation, but is often caught up in autism and other developmental disorders - address those and they may be more likely to express an interest in people their own age, but that is often somewhere between difficult and impossible depending on what the problem is.
The second is the "rapist". This person is not attracted to children per se, they are attracted to weakness. Unlike the first type, this kind of offender will often have more than just children on their CV. They are driven by insecurity and a desperate need not to be judged on their sexual performance. Therefore they will prey on children, the disabled, the elderly, nuns, animals, whoever they perceive as easily overpowered and unlikely to judge them. Examples of this kind of offender are people like Nick Bate, Yaniv, Jimmy Savile and most sex offender Incel types. Ironically, these types are more likely to respond to treatment, because their offending stems from psychological neuroses (often combined with personality disorders) that are more responsive to treatment. But because these people usually commit worse crimes and earlier on than the first type, they're usually beyond help and serving long prison sentences before anybody psychoanalyses them, making treatment pointless at that stage.