I have been leading behaviour in schools for nearly 10 years now. My approach and ethos has evolved over that time. One area that I haven't changed is the idea that relationships are the key element in effective behaviour support. I know this is sometimes not enough, but if a strong trusting relationship (not friendship!)… Continue reading Relationships and Behaviour Support: A Reflection
Why Developing Child Voice in SEND is a safeguarding priority it is essential you ensure child voice is a top priority in the inclusive classroom. You cannot overstate the importance of providing children with opportunities to demonstrate choices throughout their education. In early years education, this is acknowledged through EYFS documents (Early Years Foundation Stage).… Continue reading Child Voice, AAC, and Safeguarding
All children have a tendency to display oppositional behavior at times. After 13 years working with children with Autism, ADHD, ODD and other needs I have seen a range of reasons for opposition. With my own children I can identify factors that can lead to oppositional behaviour. This doesn’t make it easier to deal with,… Continue reading Control, Anxiety, and Oppositional Behaviour at Home and School.
This is a record of the #SENexchange Discussion in January 2020. We examined the findings and content of Centre for Mental Health briefing on Trauma, challenging behaviour and restrictive practice in schools. Download the briefing here To give you context as to my potential bias in choosing and responding to these questions I am a… Continue reading Trauma, challenging behaviour and restrictive practice in schools.
Monitoring wellbeing using a food and mood chart We developed this food and mood chart when working with a non-verbal young man who had multiple but unclear food intolerances. This led to a highly limited diet that felt unethical. It was also felt this led to behaviours i.e the child will take food from others,… Continue reading Wellbeing: Food and Mood Chart
This post on sensory processing was inspired by a talk I attended by Olga Bogdishana. You can find the slides from her presentation on "Making sense of Sensory Needs and Challenging Behaviour" here. She has also written this book which gives a deeper insight into sensory perceptual issues. Sensory processing is a key part of… Continue reading Sensory Processing: Creating a First Aid Kit
Over 30 suggested strategies for effective behaviour management. #Education #Teaching.
This is blog post is primarily school-based and SEND focused, but can any education or care setting that strives to be truly inclusive should be able to use this as an environmental and relational approach based checklist or simple inclusion audit tool. Before you start looking at strategies or labeling a child's actions as challenging… Continue reading 13 Questions to ask to ensure you are an inclusive school.
These books are only those I have read and can recommend. They all follow an inclusive and positive support ethos. They all also focus on the only part of behaviour support we can control - ourselves. If your school has a zero tolerance behaviour policy read these and make it your mission to get that rewritten.I will get around to doing a second post but I need to get reading first!
This post will outline the role relationships play in behaviour support, I will also outline some of the research led practices I have used. Before I start I do want to say that I have read studies I do not agree with. I also know that a huge number of studies conducted ON Autistic children/adults focus on strategies intended to normalise social behaviours which is a huge ethical issue. Fortunately I have had the opportunity to listen to and discuss elements of my practice with actually Autistic academics and practitioners. This has greatly shaped my approach and ethos towards behaviour support, I will also admit this has slanted my view of a lot of studies that remove the human element from behaviour and reduce the children to purely objects to study. To this end I fully expect some of the approaches in the post and the presentation to be a bit controversial and I am 100% sure that at least some of them will contravene your school (or center's) behaviour policy.
Looking beyond “No apparent reason”. Internal Antecedents: Does Behaviour Really come "Out of the Blue?" Often overlooked, internal antecedents are an important element in behaviour support. This article is based on my experiences working with Autistic children who also communicate in ways we find challenging. We do our best to find patterns, clues and reasons… Continue reading Does Behaviour Really come “Out of the Blue?”
These are 10 simple ways to prevent challenging behaviour escalation by making small changes to your interactions. In our PBS training these are called active interventions. In reality there are thousands of these, the better you know the child the more adept you will become at identifying the most effective strategies in your teacher's toolkit… Continue reading 10 Simple Strategies to Prevent Behaviour Escalation.
Every day teachers, parents and carers are faced with potentially challenging situations. Many of these are defused through skillful behaviour support. These successful resolutions will have certain common characteristics. There are some essential conditions that must exist to deescalate an incident of challenging behaviour.
Social stories are a tried and tested way of teaching social skills but for some learners they are too much. I needed a way to remind a student of the rules but in a way that didn't single them out as being the focus of the story. Some people will say this won't work as autistic children can't generalise.... but anyone who has worked with autism knows a lot of what people say is actually a myth or just does not apply to an individual.
The more you get to know the children in your class the better you will become at picking up the signs that something isn't right. That sentence was easy to write but hard to put into practice because...
I have discussed on many occasions the importance of positive relationships when working with young people. I work with vulnerable student groups, mainly autistic young people, and those who communicate and see the world differently. This relationship dynamic can shape their view of adult to adult and adult to child interactions for their entire lives.
Overwhelmed and Stressed The terminology used for an intense episode of challenging behaviour that may be displayed by Autistic children and young people with learning difficulties can vary wildly according to the ethos and values of those witnessing it. An accepted term seems to be Meltdown (but please correct me if I'm wrong). At school we… Continue reading Autism: What is a Meltdown?
I was honoured to be asked to host #behaviourchat on the 23rd May 2016 discussing ways to manage our emotions at work with a particular focus on behaviour.
Tips for managing your emotions. Challenging Behaviour: Managing your emotions. Part of my current role involves training the new PBS instructors for the county special schools. This is a great opportunity to ensure a consistent approach and ethos towards challenging behaviour between schools. It is also a chance to collaborate and learn from the shared… Continue reading Behaviour: Tips for Managing your emotions.
When faced with displays of behaviour that challenge most schools resort to sanctions and consequences. For some this may work. If you work with Young people with a special educational need, mental health issues, or those experiencing that most troubling of all childhood issues - Puberty; need you to raise your game and think beyond… Continue reading Challenging Behaviour: 5 reasons your strategies aren’t working.