Supporting an individual with challenging behaviour depends on why they are showing this particular behaviour.

Two people may show the same behaviour for different reasons and require a very different response.

A support plan based on a positive response will have the best chance of achieving a positive change.

Remember, this behaviour is happening for a reason. It won’t stop or change unless you address that reason.

If the person struggles with change, how can you support them to cope? Will they benefit from visuals and timetables? If they cannot deal with crowds then reduce the need for them to be in crowds and slowly introduce them back.

If they hit out because they have a need that they cannot communicate, then find a way to teach them to express themselves.

Understand the person and help them develop a positive means of working through their difficulty. Sometimes this is not easy. Supporting someone who is aggressive will challenge you as a parent, carer or professional.

Change does not occur overnight. Getting it right first time may not happen. But real, long-lasting change in even the most challenging individual can happen if you apply a positive approach consistently.

Challenging behaviour - further help

Families and carers can contact the Challenging Behaviour Foundation to speak to a Family Support Worker.

Resources on autism and challenging behaviour.

Contact our helpline

Tips on managing behaviour

Tips from parents and professionals who have experience of challenging behaviour