Children and young people with brain injury or neurodevelopmental disorders often show difficult behaviours such as outbursts, aggression, and disinhibition.
In our book we review the research behind, and rationale for, our approach. Based on an analysis of the behaviour (i.e. identifying triggers, understanding how the behaviour is managed, including whether the behaviour is reinforced in any way, and environmental factors that may make the behaviour more or less likely to occur) and in the context of the child's current neuropsychological functioning and development, a behavioural programme is developed for implementation at home (and/or school). Regular advice is given to parents, the child and other adults involved in supporting the programme. In addition, the behaviours are monitored and amendments are made to the programme based on the feedback from the daily monitoring.
Behaviour management may also include modifications to the environment, so that the triggers to the behaviour are less likely to occur. This is a helpful approach for children whose brain injury makes it very difficult for them to monitor, regulate or change their behavioural response to situations.
Supporting the development of emotional and behavioural regulation
Many young people following brain injury struggle to regulate their own behaviour and emotions. We work with the child and with the adults around them to routinely practice and use strategies that help the young person to manage their behaviour and emotions in different situations – such as at home (i.e. getting ready for school and going to bed; keeping calm and not arguing with family members); in school, (i.e. to help them learn optimally; keep calm in the classroom), and with their friends (making and keeping friends and, for example, dealing with uncertainty and conflict in friendships).
We decide which strategies to use by:
- looking at the child’s development
- by understanding the effect of their neuropsychological difficulties on everyday functioning at home and school
- And by talking to the child and their family about what is important to them and where they would like to see change and progress