SCIE media statement

Challenging behaviour – new films

18 May 2011

Social Care TV – How families and support workers can develop the skills to deal with, and prevent, challenging behaviour

As he became older, his support became inconsistent. He started to become destructive and disruptive. He destroyed rooms; he even broke the microwave. That got the response he wanted.

Jan Seamer, Andrew’s mother, who recruits, trains and manages the team that supports her son

Two new films are launched today which look at family carers supporting people whose behaviour is described as challenging. Challenging behaviour often starts because some people with learning disabilities find it hard to communicate what they want and how they are feeling.

If people respond to challenging behaviour such as kicking and biting, then they can be seen to “work” and the behaviour can become worse. The films show how a personalised approach to care can support families and support workers so that challenging behaviour is dealt with and prevented.

The films look at different areas around challenging behaviour:

David Walden, Director of Adult Services at SCIE, says:

These guides films offer practical help and advice for anyone involved in the care of people with challenging behaviour. Problems are often caused as much by the way a young person is supported – or not supported – as by their disabilities. The films, and the accompanying web pages on Social Care TV, offer help for family members along with organisations that provide and commission services that support people with challenging behaviour. They show how a person-centred service can be successful.

Andrew and Jan’s story

Jan Seamer now recruits, trains and manages the team that supports her son, Andrew. She knows that Andrew needs a full and active life, with few opportunities to become bored, hungry or over-stimulated. With support, Andrew lives in his own home. Every Friday, the family go to a Chinese restaurant, where an adapted menu provides three choices for Andrew. Andrew’s lifestyle is busy, and his challenging behaviour is usually manageable.

Jan feels that children with complex needs are often excluded from respite care and that parents are forced to learn by experience

The films suggest that families need the following things:

The films are launched two months after three SCIE At a glance briefings aimed at family carers. The briefings help families to understand what good support and services look like, work in partnership with staff and find information if their needs are not being met. They were written in conjunction with the Challenging Behaviour Foundation.

Policy context

Government policy, even in today’s economic climate, is that all people with learning disabilities have the same rights as everyone else. Valuing People Now is a three year cross government strategy for people with learning disabilities. It says that all people with a learning disability are people first with the right to lead their lives like any other. 'Aiming High for Disabled Children' is the Government’s transformation programme for disabled children’s services in England.


At a glance briefings

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: