PBS is founded on the belief that all behaviour happens for a reason. Challenging behaviour is no different. To the individual, behaviours of concern are often the most effective way they currently have to get their needs met.
We work within the values framework of PBS, which aims to improve the person’s quality of life by providing meaningful daily activities.
The main goal is to increase the person’s self-worth to reduce their need to engage in challenging behaviour. Working alongside the person every day, we help the person develop living skills - while also involving their family and people who know them.
We also use Applied Behavioural Analysis, a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behaviour, among other approaches.
Applied Behavioural Analysis accepts that behaviour is shaped by the environment and selected and maintained by the consequences that have followed it.
An evidence-driven approach
To start, Applied Behavioural Analysis requires a data and evidence-driven approach. This means we gather facts over a period of time on what happens around the person before they engage in challenging behaviour. We also record what happens to them immediately after.
Then, we use this data to develop interventions using a functional behaviour assessment.
Multiple interventions are tried in order to change behaviour proactively - and to manage behaviour reactively in the least restrictive way possible.
However, there’s not always an easy or quick fix.
Attempting to replace ingrained behaviours of concern that work for the individual and which may have been working for years can prove difficult.
We may think we have a good idea as to why a behaviour is happening - but we don’t always get it right!
But with our long-term commitment to understanding and supporting our service users, we accept occasional setbacks as part of the journey in making every day better.
This article was authored by Simon Cooper, Clinical Nurse Manager at Pathways. Simon is also a coach for the Centre for the Advancement of Positive Behaviour Support (CAPBS), run by the charity British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD).