To change negative behavioural responses to more positive ones, it is essential that an individual is able to identify the specific situations and circumstances that trigger them.
For example, an individual may tear up their clothes when they are hungry as a way of communicating to their staff that they would like some food. This behaviour may have come from their past history whereby they were inadvertently neglected by care staff but learned that when they tear clothes up their care staff give them attention which invariable ends up with asking if they would like a snack.
You would support the individual to identify that this behaviour occurs when they are hungry and a more appropriate behaviour would be to inform staff that they are hungry or even get themselves some food. If the individual has difficulty communicating verbally, it may be necessary to teach them the Makaton sign for food or invent their own sign that their staff will understand.
Other situations or circumstances that may trigger behavioural responses can include:
- Basic needs not being met (tired, hungry, thirsty, cold etc.)
- Feeling a lack of freedom
- Wanting something e.g. toy, sweets, ornament etc.
- Others being too loud
- Others not understanding
- Feeling isolated