Different Concepts Of Challenging Behaviour Explained

Challenging behaviour can be said to be challenging if it gets to the level where the intensity is such that it threatens the quality of life of that individual or the lives of other individuals who are around him. At times the challenging behavior can result in a scenario where the person who suffers from it is either limited or stopped completely from using or getting access to certain community facilities (College of Psychiatrists, 2007, p. 10). It is believed that challenging behavior does occur in most cases as a result of the interaction between the person and the environment within which they live. It is therefore important that if intervention is to be done then an assessment must be carried out both on the individual and the environment in which they cohabit.  

Read also Impact of Challenging Behaviour on Health and Social Care Organizations

For instance, a person with disability might express his dissatisfaction in his environment through certain behavior patterns. In such a case, a clinician has the sole responsibility of ensuring that serious interventions are put in place so that the inadequate needs of the person with disabilities are met.  The health professionals must exhibit their best practices that can enable them foresee a crisis that might most probably result in the person with disability becoming uncomfortable in their environments. If the situation is not so serious, then the clinicians are mostly advised that they assume strong stands of clinical advocacy.

Read also Coping With Challenging Behavior Associated With Specific Needs

Forms of Challenging Behaviors

Self Injurious

A person who suffers from challenging behavior can at times be spotted banging his or her head against hard surfaces. Apart from that, they can at times scratch their bodies without necessarily feeling the itching effect from the body. Others go to the extent of poking their eyes which is a very dangerous thing. The final category is of those who eat certain things that are not food.


The aggressive features of a person with challenging behaviors involve the biting and scratching of either their own bodies or those of the people near them. Others tend to pinch themselves so hard yet they do not feel any pain. Others try pulling their hair while the other category is for those who scream aimlessly without them being scared by anything. Others have been observed spitting while throwing objects at others.

Non-person directed:  Those who belong to this category normally have a high affinity to damage of property and stealing of things even when they are under the watch of someone. For others, they exhibit certain sexual behaviors that are considered inappropriate.

Influencing factors


Constitution might mean the physical state of the person that makes them behave in a certain manner. For instance if a person is allergic to certain foods then if they consume that set of food they start scratching their bodies. At times, the behaviour might be triggered by a chronic illness or even by impairment within the sensory nervous system. Occasionally, such behaviour patterns are triggered by drugs that the person is taking.

Quality of physical environment

Physical environment may include the lighting system, amount of noise received and the personal space of an individual. At times the humidity levels and amount of heat in the atmosphere might also affect the behaviour pattern of such individuals. There are those who get agitated by either the colours they see or the smell they get from certain quarters.

Some of the characteristics of people with challenging behaviour are that they experience difficulties in communicating with others because they cannot produce clear speech sounds. At times they lack the words needed to pass across that message (behaviour foundation).

The other characteristic is that they have difficulties in understanding whatever message that is passed to them. The difficulty might be as a result of loss of hearing or due to lack of reasoning abilities.

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