Coping With Challenging Behavior Associated With Specific Needs

An individual can be said to have a challenging behavior if their conduct pose a risk to them and/or those near them or reduces their quality of life. This kind of behavior includes self-harm, aggression, disruptiveness and destructiveness. Individuals with communicating problems and more so those with health conditions that affect the brain such as dementia and learning disabilities are more likely to portray challenging behavior.  If challenging behavior results to the patient’s desired outcome, it is lackey to persist.

Read also Different Concepts Of Challenging Behaviour Explained


The main objectives for strategies for coping with challenging behavior associated with specific needs is to offer care givers hands-on tactics to help them identify, evaluate, understand, counteract and manage challenging behavior while avoiding or minimizing patient’s distress (Ageing, Disability & Home Care, 2009). The strategies also help ensure that the patient receives high quality care and that care is provided within a safe setting.

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Physical intervention

Physical intervention such as restricting the patient with arm-binds or helmets should only be employed as a last option. When used, it must be done under clear guidelines and in conjunction with other ways of assistant the patient overcome their behavior. Use of physical intervention must be recorded and reviewed on regular basis with an objective of eradicating their use (Ageing, Disability & Home Care, 2009).

Clear guidelines

Staff, patients, parents/care givers and any other stakeholders should come together and develop a statement of what comprises satisfactory and undesirable behavior. All stakeholders should discuss issues of conduct and jurisdiction in the framework of rights and obligations regularly.

Training in physical aspect of behavior management

Anyone in physical contact with the person with challenging behavior should be given relevant guidance and training (Ageing, Disability & Home Care, 2009). If none is given, the care giver should request for training in physical aspects of behavior management, to assist them care for their patient with more confidence and avoid physical injuries to themselves or the receiver of care.

Medication Emergency Support

Medication should be administered only if there is a well-defined reason for its use such as an existing health condition such as epilepsy. Emergency support for individuals with challenging behavior should be accessible at any time, day and night.

Government Policy

Government policy states that individuals with learning disabilities, such as challenging behavior have the similar rights with every other citizen. They and their care givers are eligible for opportunities that everybody else expects in life. People with challenging behavior should be given the chance to make their own decisions; they should be embraced in the society; and should be given the opportunity to live independently by offering them the sustenance they may need. They also have the right to voice out their views and concerns and they ought to be supported to do so.

Comprehensive Behavior assessment

Comprehensive behavior assessment involves considering all aspects of an individual, their capabilities, their proficiencies, their shortcomings, their lineage, their likes and dislikes, their wellbeing, among other things (, 2015)

. Risk assessment is focuses on evaluating the probability and magnitudes of challenging behavior and instigating suitable procedures to prevent, moderate or regulate those risks. Protective considerations, such as collaboration among stakeholders and services should also be stressed to help evaluate and manage the behavior effectively.

Behavior Support Plan

Behavior plan is aimed at helping the caregiver to understand the patient and help them support him/her to develop a positive method of working through their challenges (, 2015).

The challenging behavior happens for a reason hence addressing the cause is the only way to prevent the persistence of that behavior effectively. For a support plan to be successful at realizing positive patient transformation, it should be created based on the patient’s positive response.

Partnership Working

Working in partnership with all the stakeholders and external helps ensure that the patient gets all the support they may require.

When dealing with individuals with challenging behavior, it is imperative that the caregiver sets realistic and practical goals that will help increase the patient’s quality of life and decrease the effect their behavior has on themselves and those around them.


Ageing, Disability & Home Care, (2009). Behavior Support: Policy and Practice Manual. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Jan. 2015]., (2015). What is challenging behavior? – Disability charity Scope UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Jan. 2015].

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