8. Changing The Results

This is the home stretch!


We need to think about how to change the results of and responses to the person’s challenging behaviour, as well as how to encourage the behaviours we want them to display. Remember that persistent challenging behaviour tends to achieve quick and immediate results.


We therefore need to think of ways to reduce the likelihood of these “quick and immediate results” occurring when the person displays challenging behaviour. Punishing people for their challenging behaviour means that the person does not learn anything constructive.


A positive approach that motivates people to learn and make progress is rooted in the understanding that people need to learn to independently manage their own behaviour. Some things to consider when thinking about changing the results of the behaviour include: -


  • How can we encourage the person to display the behaviour that we want to see?

  • How can we make sure that the replacement behaviour achieves the same or even better results for the same or less effort?

  • Can we find something that replaces any “sensory buzz” the person might be achieving?

  • What rewards can we offer that are bigger and better than those that currently follow the challenging behaviour?

  • How can we stop the challenging behaviour from achieving what it currently achieves?

  • Can we change our reactions to the challenging behaviour to promote what we want to see?

  • Can we offer a consistent crisis management response (to deal with a “meltdown”)?  see graph in panel.

  • Is it possible to engage in Planned Ignoring of the challenging behaviour?


We recognise that at times physical restraint is required to keep people safe as a last resort. Best practice guidance on the use of restraint can be found in the factsheet in the resource area. For more information go to the British Institute of Learning Disabilities website.

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