Tony Osgood has had experience in development disability roles and now lectures for the University of Kent. See: about university He says that he considers challengingbehaviour to be, above all else, two things: complaining and communication. He believes in trying to work out the meaning before deciding how to respond. His Writings takes offers the reader a treasure trove of articles.
This is about defence mode. I try hard to not be offended at their description and apparent assumption that I am not familiar with B.F. Skinner and behavioural psychology when I not only have a master’s degree and 25 years of experience working with kids with special needs, but have also reared a neuro typical child that is thriving.
This article is written by a parent and occuational therapist. We, as parents and caregivers (and on-lookers!), need to remember that responding from a behavioral point of view is ineffective in these cases. As adults, we need to remove the excessive or adverse stimuli, and we may need to take the child to a calm, quiet place. Click icon to view article.
At Echo, we encourage adults to look beneath the behaviour of children and to understand ‘behaviour as communication.’ It may be that the child is choosing a way of communicating that is hard for you to deal with but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the behaviour is driven by some deep need or physiological response. These behaviours are often punished and then we wonder why the child is “always getting into trouble” or “never learns!” when we haven’t dealt with the root cause of the behaviour. Click icon for full article.
In his book, Dr Barry Prizant has drawn on over forty years’ in working with autistic children and adults, and their families, to outline how the uniqueness of individuals with autism can be built on as, a different way to be human. He says, Rather than curb these behaviours, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will naturally lead to more desirable behaviour and a better quality of life. See: Amazon.
A mother’s story
In her book George and Sam, Charlotte Moore writes about her experience of bringing up her sons and the challenges she faces. George and Sam might be described as quite low functioning and they have contrasting personalities. Her third son Jake is not autistic at all. The book contains a lot of experience and insight. The 2012 edition has been updated to cover George and Sam’s teenage years. See: Good Reads Amazon.
After the scandalous revelations of abuse at Winterbourne View hospital a ministerial report set out the Department of Health response. Five years on, a BBC documentary has investigated whether progress has been made to get people with learning disabilities out of hospitals and into homes in the community. While quite a few patients have been discharged a similar number have been admitted.
Keeping people in the familiar surroundings of home while offering support seems to be considered the way forward. The Challenging Behaviour Foundation outlines how this is supposed to work. They have collected many links on best practice including their Time for Action report and an easy reading version.
Please be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice. See: disclaimer.