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Challenging behaviour used to be described as ‘problem behaviour’ or ‘difficult behaviour’ or ‘socially unacceptable behaviour’. But in recent years, the term challenging behaviour reflects the fact that some of the behaviours are a challenge to professionals, teachers, carers and parents.
That means the person showing these behaviours is not a ‘problem’ to be fixed, or someone doing something ‘wrong’, but that the behaviour is a sign that something isn’t working.
It shows that there is some need being unfulfilled, or a problem with communication.
In essence it is that there is something going wrong that needs to be addressed, not that there is a person doing something wrong who needs to be stopped.
In other words, behaviour is challenging if it causes harm to the person or others, or if it stops them fulfilling some aspect of their lives, such as:
It is the impact of these behaviours that makes them challenging. Challenging behaviour can be:
Tips from parents and professionals who have experience of challenging behaviour
I'm a consultant practicing psychologist (HCPC Registered) specialising in working with and supporting people with complex needs, challenges and difficulties, their carers and the services supporting them.
By Noel Janis-Norton, learning and behaviour specialist, parenting advisor & author
I have lived in supported living for 4 years and share the house with an extremely aggressive and challenging young man he may shout abuse to staff myself both…
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