The term "challenging behaviour" is often used to refer to "difficult" or "problem" behaviours which may be shown by people who have a learning disability.
These behaviours include aggression (e.g., hitting, kicking, biting), destruction (e.g., ripping clothes, breaking windows, throwing objects), self-injury (e.g., head banging, self-biting, skin picking), tantrums and many other behaviours such as running away, eating inedible objects, socially unacceptable behaviours, inappropriate sexualised behaviours, rocking or other stereotyped movements.
Challenging behaviour puts the safety of the person or others in some jeopardy or has a significant impact on the person's or other people's quality of life. It is those behaviours that can so often lead to difficulty finding appropriate care support.
Challenging Behaviour is not limited to people with learning disabilities however challenging behaviours can often be identified as characteristic of people who find it difficult to deal with change, have communication difficulty, struggle to interpret the world around them or have complex health needs. The severity of challenging behaviour can vary greatly sometimes leading to serious injury requiring urgent intervention to limit the risks of consequences but even in the most limited instances challenging behaviour is very upsetting, disruptive & stressful.
In every individual case it is important to recognise that there can be specific triggers to these behaviours. It might be:-
• Physical ....... eg. pain, medication,
digestive difficulty, hunger
• Social & Psychological .... eg. boredom,
loneliness, lack of control over
decisions, insensitivity of others,
• Environmental ...... eg. temperature,
light sensitivity, sensitivity to noise
Challenging behaviours may be viewed as occurring in a cycle:-
- Trigger - What happened before the episode?
- Escalation - What happened during the episode?
- Crisis - What happened as a result of the episode?
- Recovery - How was the episode resolved?
Analysis of this cycle provides the essential foundation for using a variety of strategies to minimise the triggers of challenging behaviour, strategies that are aimed at supporting the person to develop more appropriate behaviours in response to these triggers & that encourage a more appropriate response.
At Dignity Group we have many years experience of supporting people who have learning disabilities, challenging behaviour & complex care needs. We have been successful in providing appropriate long term placements for people who have previously found it difficult to be supported within other settings. Understanding the individual, assessing risk, being flexible & developing strategies based on each person’s unique profile underpins all that we do in providing care and support to people who display challenging behaviours. We regularly work closely with professional multi-disciplinary teams to design packages of care & support & tailor our approach as much as we can to limit the negative affects of each person's challenges.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help