Managing Challenging Behaviour

Challenging behaviour is often described as 'bad behaviour', 'naughty behaviour', 'stubbornness' and the like. But 'challenging' behaviour actually means that the behaviour is a challenge to parents, teachers and professionals. The person showing these behaviours is not a 'problem' to be fixed or someone doing something 'bad' or 'wrong'. The behaviour is a sign that something isn't working. It shows that there is some need being unfulfilled or a problem with communciation. There is something going wrong that needs to be addressed and not that there is person doing something wrong who needs to be stopped. 

People with learning difficulties and developmental disabilities can suffer from the same mental and emotional difficulites that others do. Further, they are less well equipped and supported to deal with these difficulties. For example, it can be difficult to deal with anxiety if you do not have the words to describe what you are expreriencing. 

Challenging behaviours have a function - a reason why they occur. This reason should be explored by assessing the whole person, their abilities, skills, deficitis, likes and dislikes, family background, health, ability to  cope with demands etc. From this, the professional involved works out a what the challenging behaviour is achieving and what 'function' is serves. After this a support plan can be developed.

"Happy people tend not to challenge". This golden rule can help us find out what makes the person happy and make these things happen more in their lives. This process can help challenging behaviours start to disappear. We set realistic goals for the person and aim to increase his quality of life and minimise the impact of the behaviours displayed.