People who have learning disabilities often display behaviours that challenge others. Known as challenging behaviours, they can significantly impact on the person who is behaving in this way, as well as those caring for them. Often these behaviours are effective ways for the person with learning disabilities to get their needs met but they can have negative consequences.
Challenging behaviour is often difficult to understand and to stop. It may appear as shouting, threatening, self-injury or destruction of property but can also include non-verbal behaviours like body movements and hand flapping. The behaviour can be unpredictable but is often sparked by something that is going on around the person or by their environment. Hard to ignore and uncomfortable to see, this behaviour can affect the health and safety of the person displaying and those they come into contact with, reducing quality of life for both the person displaying the behaviour and their carers. The behaviour also becomes a barrier to receiving healthcare. For a Challenging behaviour training course, go to Tidal Training, a supplier of a Challenging behaviour training course syllabus.
The right training can help you recognise the signs of challenging behaviour and take steps to stop it happening. It is important to remember that behaviour that challenges can have many different functions for the person displaying it, including sensory stimulation, attention, gaining or losing items, escaping demands, controlling their environment and even avoiding pain/stimulation.
Identifying what the function is and then adjusting their physical and social environment (reducing triggers and what reinforces it), teaching replacement skills or developing an individualised behaviour support plan are all useful strategies.