• Make sure the individual feels valued and listened to.
  • Make sure that where communication disorders exist, the individual has a method of communicating effectively.
  • Give the individual other ways of communicating a need.
  • Reduce, where necessary, expectations of the individual and of care staff.
  • Determine triggers in the environment, such as noise or attitudes and beliefs in carers that might provoke or maintain challenging behaviour.
  • Help the individual and their carers to recognise distress.
  • Develop the individual's coping strategies for dealing with problems.
  • Anticipate potential problems and intervening where appropriate (for example, by providing additional support, redirection to another activity or reducing noise level).
  • Training and support for care staff in prevention and management of problems.
  • Care staff sharing knowledge and expertise.
  • Provision of a variety of activities and materials that are appropriate and meaningful.
  • Ensuring appropriate levels of support.
  • Ensuring that all involved with an individual provide a consistent approach.

There are few golden rules in supporting people who display challenging behaviour.

One is that happy people tend not to challenge. Find out what makes the person happy and make it happen more in their life, then you may find that the behaviour starts to disappear.

Challenging behaviour is often seen in people with learning disability and other types of impairment. This behaviour represents a challenge to us to address something that is not working in that person's life.

It's reasonable to expect that with comprehensive assessment, appropriate levels of stimulation, communication techniques, carer support and consistency, encouragement and teaching of new coping skills, behaviour can be managed effectively.

It's important to set realistic goals for the individual and aim to increase the person’s quality of life and minimise the impact of the behaviours displayed.

Contact our helpline

Tips on managing behaviour

Tips from parents and professionals who have experience of challenging behaviour