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Positive Behaviour Strategies for People With Autism. Martin Hanbury Thursday 5 th July 2007. Aims. To consider whether there is an association between autism and challenging behaviour

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positive behaviour strategies for people with autism

Positive Behaviour StrategiesforPeople With Autism

Martin Hanbury

Thursday 5th July 2007

  • To consider whether there is an association between autism and challenging behaviour
  • To explore how the principles of behaviour support are conducive to developing positive outcomes for people with autism
  • To examine ways in which we might develop ourselves as carers and practitioners in order to support people with autism
  • To investigate strategies which will support the development of positive behaviour for people with autism
the world s most annoying question is
The world’s most annoying question is …

Is it the autism


is he just being naughty?

because …
  • it assumes a causal relationship between ASD and Challenging Behaviour
  • it separates the person from the condition
  • it disregards the fact that everyone is a product of everything that influences them
  • it has never been asked of Francis
an association
An Association ?
  • Not causal
  • Not determinist
  • Behaviour is plastic – it can be shaped, altered, changed
impact of autism
Impact of Autism

By focusing on the impact of ASD on an

individual we can identify those features of

the condition which are contributing to

challenging behaviour and thereafter devise

appropriate remedial or compensatory

strategies which support the individual in

developing alternative, positive behaviour

behaviour support
Behaviour Support

Why is behaviour support an effective and

ethical means of supporting individuals with


The Three Ps

3 Ps
  • Person centred
  • Proactive
  • Positive
behaviour support10
Behaviour Support
  • Emphasis on enabling individuals to develop behaviour patterns which are positive and fulfilling
  • Focuses on developing an individual’s capacity to respond to challenges and obstacles they face
  • Enhances an individual’s repertoire of skills via proactive strategies
the behaviour support pyramid
The Behaviour Support Pyramid




“Human behaviour never occurs

in a vacuum”

(LaVigna and Donnellan, 1986)

“ ... a function of the context in which it occurs”

(Hanbury 2007)

functional analysis
Functional Analysis

functional analysis is a means by which we can

better understand the dynamic interaction between

ourselves, the people we are supporting and the

context-environment in which we are operating

what is functional analysis

What is functional analysis

“An assessment process for gathering information that can be used to build effective behavioral support plans.”

(Mace, Lalli & Lalli 1991)

my qualities
My Qualities
  • An audit
  • What qualities and characteristics can I offer the process of behaviour support?
  • What do I derive from these interactions?
the behaviour
The ‘Behaviour’
  • What is it about this behaviour which makes me want to change it?
  • Who am I changing it for?
  • What happens to me when I am around this behaviour?
self improvement
Self improvement
  • How can I best improve my practice with the individual I am supporting?
  • What features are in need of development?
  • How can I achieve this?
  • What do I need?
three tiers of strategy
Three tiers of strategy
  • Proactive – things we teach
  • Active – things we introduce to calm or distract
  • Reactive – planned interventions
Clearing space for learning to occur
  • Duality of being both a proactive strategy and promoting the conditions in which proactive strategies can thrive
3 ways
3 ways
  • Medical intervention
  • Improved lifestyle options
  • Incident specific strategies
improved lifestyle options
Improved Lifestyle Options
  • Diet
  • Health
  • Leisure
  • Self-advocacy
  • Sensory support
  • Skills and knowledge
  • Longer term
  • Not immediate
  • Benefits can be missed or overlooked
  • Profound and enduring change
incident specific strategies
Incident specific strategies
  • Avoidance
  • Calming techniques
  • Distraction
  • Options
  • Shorter term
  • Immediate impact
  • May not be sustainable
  • Several concurrent strategies
  • Behavioural ‘First Aid’
integrating strategies
Integrating Strategies

Developing systems for enabling strategies

to operate concurrently

Enabling a holistic view of a person

Looking to the future but addressing the

here and now

the detail
The detail ?
  • Down to you …
  • You know your individual, your context
  • You’re full of ideas
  • Persevere
  • Proactive strategies enable an individual to learn alternative ways to meet their needs
  • Proactive strategies build on an individual’s capacity to learn and require optimum learning conditions
  • Identifying periods when an individual is calm is critical to the successful implementation of proactive strategies
  • Proactive strategies can be short term or long term
  • Improving a person’s lifestyle options will promote optimum learning conditions
  • Identifying techniques which enable an individual to remain calm increases the likelihood of implementing effective proactive strategies
  • Proactive strategies both promote optimum learning conditions and can be implemented during optimum learning periods. This virtuous cycle is the aim of positively supporting individuals with autism.