Challenging Behaviour

Some people with a learning disability/ mental illness display behaviour that challenges. ‘Behaviour that challenges’ is not a diagnosis but can indicate that although such behaviour is a challenge to services, family members and carers, it may serve a purpose for the person with a learning disability (for example, by producing sensory stimulation, attracting attention, avoiding demands and communicating with other people). This behaviour often results from the interaction between personal and environmental factors and can include aggression, self-injury, stereotypic behaviour, withdrawal and disruptive or destructive behaviour.

Ensuring that care is safe and that people have a positive experience of care is vital in a high-quality service. It is important to consider these factors when planning and delivering services relevant to people with behaviour that challenges.

This information will begin to be compiled from the first assessment and will continue to be reviewed on a 6 monthly basis via a multidisciplinary team input compiling of the local Mental Health in Learning Disability Teams (MHLD, Community Learning Disability Teams (CTLD) or Mental Health Teams).

Behaviour Support Plans

Robust behaviour support plans will be developed and agreed with the person with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges and the people who support them, including their family or carers. The behaviour support plan should be based on a shared understanding about the function of the behaviour and should identify proactive strategies to improve their quality of life. It should identify adaptations to a person’s environment and routine, and strategies to help them develop another behaviour that fulfils the same function by developing a new skill (for example, improved communication, emotional regulation or social interaction).

It will identify preventative strategies to calm the individual whilst safe management of behaviours that cannot be avoided (reactive strategies). It will also identify training required for staff and family members to improve their understanding of challenging behaviour.


Activities play an important role in reducing behaviours that challenge and each person will have a planned personal activity schedule. They will be of interest to the person and will be recorded on their daily activity schedule. For those individuals that are unable to voice their wishes we will incorporate the views of all the individuals that know them best. Families will play a major part in these circumstances.

Positive Behavioural Support (PBS)

PBS is an effective way of supporting people who are at risk of behaviour that challenges. PBS is a framework that allows staff and carers to understand the behaviour challenges and is integral to the care we deliver. It is based on an assessment of the broad social, physical and individual context in which the behaviour occurs. We then use this information to develop interventions and build this within the Behaviour Support Plans. The main goal is to improve the person’s quality of life and those that are around them. PBS is a unified approach and it is important that family’s carers and professionals each play a part in supporting the person.

Our Specialisms

Learning Disabilities
Challenging Behaviour
Autism and Aspergers Syndrome
Mental Illness
Personality Disorder