Some of the people we support can do things that challenge other people.
What are behaviours that challenge?
Challenging behaviours can damage people’s quality of life and safety. They may lead to responses that are restrictive or that lead to the person being excluded from their community in some way.
When people behave like this, we try to understand the behaviour and what causes it.
How do we try to understand it?
We see these behaviours as a form of communication. Through their behaviour, the person is communicating that their needs are not being met.
It is the task of the team supporting that person to work out what they are communicating through their behaviour.
To do this, we ask questions like:
What does the behaviour look like?
How often does it happen?
Where does it happen?
How long does it last?
Who is around when it happens?
How do other people respond when the behaviour happens?
We also look at what happened just before and just after the behaviour.
It is essential to us that we don’t look at what the person is doing in isolation. We think about the person’s quality of life – how they spend their time, what is important to them, the relationships they have with others, and their opportunities for having choice and control. We believe that a good quality of life is central to supporting behaviours that challenge.
What do we do to address behaviours that challenge?
We then develop plans that:
aim to prevent the behaviour from occurring in the first place
respond to the behaviour in order to meet the person’s needs and ensure that they, and others around them, are safe.
In doing this, we follow the principles of Positive Behaviour Support. This has been shown to improve the quality of life for people supported, and to minimise challenging behaviour.
Our staff are also trained in PROACT-SCIPr-UK®, using courses tailored to the people we support and their staff team.
This greatly improves a team’s understanding of what the person they support is trying to communicate through their behaviour. It enables them to develop strategies that aim to meet the person’s needs and so reduce their frustration and anxiety.