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Mumsnet/KIDS support session on challenging behaviour: Thursday September 20, 9pm

(122 Posts)
RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 10:01:09

Hello there,

We're pleased to announce that the third support session with members of KIDS staff will be held on Thursday September 20 between 9pm amd 10pm (in the hope that this will avoid most kids' bed-times!). The topic will be challenging behaviour. (You can see the first session here and the second session here.)

KIDS is a national charity working with disabled children, young people and their families across England. The KIDS representative at this session will be Kim Steele (KIDS Development Coordinator for the south-east).

The idea of these support sessions is to complement the advice and support that Special Needs posters already give each other with the insight and experience of people working for an organisation in the field. We hope that the session will pull together perspectives and advice from MNers and from KIDS staff, and that the thread will serve as a reference point for posters looking for advice about behaviour.

It would be great to have as many of you as possible join us 'live' on Thursday evening, but if you can't make it, please also post up any advance questions for here.

We'd really appreciate your feedback on these sessions, so if you can find the time to fill in a survey after the session, that would be great - it's open to lurkers as well as posters - to everyone who has seen the thread.


UnChartered Mon 17-Sep-12 10:03:58

marking my place

thanks Rowan

LateDeveloper Mon 17-Sep-12 11:52:56

marking my place too - seeing a few unpleasant behaviours chez late's

RabbitsMakeGOLDEggs Mon 17-Sep-12 16:43:54

This might be very beneficial for me and my DD.

HotheadPaisan Mon 17-Sep-12 17:01:47

Please xpost in, most people often only look there.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Mon 17-Sep-12 19:16:42

Will keep an eye out - puberty in a 14yo DD with SN's is proving more than challenging...

GoldPedanticPanda Mon 17-Sep-12 20:00:18

Sounds great, I'll mark my place. smile

MrsShrek3 Mon 17-Sep-12 22:57:27


ouryve Mon 17-Sep-12 23:01:57

I must try to remember this one.

Having to work on acceptable ways of getting my attention with DS2 at the moment.

BumptiousandBustly Tue 18-Sep-12 07:19:38

Also marking my place. Can't do Thursday so will put up some q's before .

flapperghasted Tue 18-Sep-12 07:51:01

Marking my place and checking out links. I work with children with SEN and some of my charges are a bit challenging at times. I find a mums approach to behaviour management can give great insights into how I can work.

perceptionreality Tue 18-Sep-12 10:11:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I'm interested in what can be done to educate teachers on what consitutes challenging behaviour and that it isn't just about what THEY find difficult.

Currently, challenging behaviour appears to be defined as anything that gets in the way of a teacher doing their job. i.e. disruption and agression etc. and for this there are well used behaviour modification strategies that use extrinsic reinforcements such as stickers, golden time, charts, time out, certificates etc.

But how do we ensure teachers are trained properly to understand challenging behaviour that gets in the way of the CHILD doing THEIR job i.e. learning? Such as not focussing, not listening, chosing the same thing every day during child initiated learning, not initiating interactions with other children.

THESE challenging behaviours tend to be largely ignored by schools despite being detremental to the child's development and any attempts at suggestion of similar 'reward' systems is often met with a horrified look and a lecture about behaviour needing to be reinforced intrinsically rather than extrinsically.

How can we marry the two up.

If the strategies teachers use for behaviour that is detremental to THEIR TEACHING are so effective, why can't they use them for behaviour that is detrimental to the CHILD'S LEARNING?

justaboutiswarm Tue 18-Sep-12 11:08:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Okay, so I suppose the first thing I'd like to discuss is what is challenging behaviour. Is it restricted to behaviour someone else can't manage, or behaviour that a child themselves can't manage, or are both the same thing but just dealt with differently?

And should they be?

For example an example of challenging behaviour being uncooperative, or is it actively distrupting a child who IS being cooperative?

further, is lack of motivation to learn considered challenging, because most of the teachers i have dealt with are less able to get my child to listen at carpet time if he doesn't want to than they are able to get him to sit on the carpet if he doesn't want to, so arguably the former is more 'challenging' for them.

Finally, if they WERE able to meet the challenge of motivating him to listen at carpet time, then their need to deal with his demonstrative challenging behaviour of refusing to sit on the carpet would completely disappear.

HotheadPaisan Tue 18-Sep-12 11:37:59

I would like a bit more understanding of difference in the classroom. Children with ASD for example are under a huge amount of pressure on a daily basis. We have to recognise when they are getting overloaded and act before they have to. There also needs to be more done to prevent the situation reaching crisis point too.

As for home, again, whilst we stand firm you have to understand where the behaviour is coming from. Seeing DS1's hitting, spitting and verbal aggression as the panic and overload attacks they often are helps to take the heat out of the situation, calm down and then work on alternative strategies later.

Triggles Tue 18-Sep-12 14:16:42

Marking my place. Wish there was some type of email alert you could sign up for that reminds us on the day, maybe an hour or so before.

Maryz Tue 18-Sep-12 15:53:14

I agree absolutely with your post Starlight.

When ds1 was disruptive in school, they dealt with his behaviour (detentions, suspensions, eventual expulsion).

But they never dealt with the behaviour he struggled most with - the inability to ask for help, the understanding of what mood the teacher was in, the inability to concentrate on subjects he saw no point in doing etc.

They only dealt (harshly) with behaviour that disrupted other children, not behaviour that prevented him from learning or supported him in understanding himself.

That's why the eduction system failed him (and so many other children) so badly.

I see it to a lesser extent in ds2 who is being assessed for ADHD. He can only concentrate when fiddling, but is constantly in trouble for so doing. So he isn't learning much atm either.

colditz Tue 18-Sep-12 16:38:04

I would really like.some advice.

My nt six year old copies my asd 9 year old, and because their maturity is about the same, I tend to give them the same sanctions. But my six year old doesn't accept them well, and I don't feel that they are working to get him properly behaved.

He has a horrible, horrible temper, really explosive. He screams, hits, kicks and goes rigid. He has a tantrum, basically, but he's six years old. I don't know what to do, whether to get his assessed, or whether to.punish him more severely - I tend to issue time outs and privelege loss.

I guess I'm worried as to whether this is normal for a child who has an autistic sibling. If it is, and its a symptom of distress, then he needs councelling, but if it is not, then given the genetic load of an autistic sibling, then he needs assessment.

Is love some advice, including from other posters, because this is the.most challqnging thing I have had with. I know how to do autism, its ds2 that's baffling me because there's no signpost.

HotheadPaisan Tue 18-Sep-12 17:46:49

All behaviour is trying to tell you something and imo there is very little point in ever escalating sanctions. Most children want to do the right thing but they can't in that moment.

So, one option is to try and prevent the triggers, not always possible but the common ones for us are needing 1-2-1, being tired or hungry or overwhelmed or frightened or worried. DS1 has the additional problem of needing not to be around people whilst not being able to be alone, this is a tricky one.

It's taken a long time for us to realise how great his need is for 1-2-1 but now we know we provide it as much as we can. I know everyone will say it's not practical and so on but it's what he needs for now and how he thrives. We tend to find that the more 1-2-1 we can give him, sometimes just hanging around nearby, the calmer he is and the less he needs it, until the next time. This can be boring but it will pass and gives DS2 time with me or DP on his own too.

DS1's brain is wired in such a way that he can't help feeling and reacting as he does, his anxieties are high, he's still very impulsive, he's on perpetual full alert and gets overwhelmed. We just try and meet his needs whilst being firm and consistent and doing shed-loads of social stories on feelings and acceptable behaviour.

I'm also very honest with him, I tell him how the things he does make me feel, just matter of factly without trying to guilt-trip him. I get angry when I am angry, no point pretending I'm not, he needs to see the effect of his behaviour, again without going on and on. I also do something physical with him when I can see he's getting hyper, pillow fight, whatever. And when it's over, it's over, I do not carry it on and neither does he. We apologise when ready (depending on who should/ needs to).

We praise and dish out unsolicited treats for good sibling behaviour (from both), this works really well. We also guide DS2 as much as DS1 so it's fair and even.

Divide and conquer, go for positive reinforcement and get support, it's the only way we've found whilst both are still young. Get a break, this is the single, most effective thing you can do as a parent of DC with SEN, it makes a big difference.

I would also like to know what to do when the challenging behaviour prevents someone from living any type of life, secluded in the peace of his own home, with no one able to talk, type, laugh, text, do household duties etc and I am also talking about an 11yo who doesn't attend school. One with down syndrome and severe learning disabilities and more.

How do I get him to dress, how do I get him to leave the house, how do I get him to brush his teeth etc etc?

HotheadPaisan Tue 18-Sep-12 20:25:57

Haven't read this yet but it might be useful:

I also like Schramm, Motivation and Reinforcement, 2011. Not a lot of the strategies work atm for DS1 but understanding what drives his behaviour helps.

On the whole, I just tackle one thing at a time, break it down into small steps, give lots of praise and recognition when he does what I want him to do, lots of ignoring the behaviour I don't want. It's a long, slow process but it does work.

HotheadPaisan Tue 18-Sep-12 20:53:59

That toolkit I just linked looks absolutely fantastic.

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