Behaviour support team grows to change lives
Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), aims to improve the quality of life of people with a learning disability or autism. This year, to provide more local expertise, we have expanded our team to include three full-time Behaviour Support Specialists. The new team members will be working alongside our PBS Experienced Practitioners, Practice Leads, and Advanced Practitioner.
Historically, behaviours that are considered ‘challenging’ have been managed with medication, however with the right behaviour support, that isn’t always necessary. As firm supporters of STOMP, the PBS team explore ways to meet a person’s needs without them needing to behave in ways we find concerning. For example, verbal or physical aggression, self-injury or destruction of property.
Making a difference
An example of PBS in action shows how by watching and listening, the team can help people who are struggling.
Behaviour Support Specialist, Danielle Hull explains: "One person we support was finding it difficult to return home after being out and about. She was getting very upset when she got home. Using a Positive Behaviour Support approach, we worked out that she was feeling worried about going home and finding it difficult to understand what would happen next."
To help her with this transition the team introduced some strategies to help her know what to expect when she arrived home.
• Getting something when out and about to use when she gets home (e.g. borrowing books from the library to read at home).
• If this is not possible, the team take an object with them that they show her to know what they would do when they get home (e.g. colouring pens to do some drawing).
• The team began to use a script of what to say to reassure her and let her know what was happening in words she understands.
The support team is continuing to use these strategies and the person we support has been less worried and upset when coming home.
Meet the new Behaviour Support Specialists
Jordan Paton is based in Bristol. He has worked for Brandon for 11 years, in a wide variety of settings. He joined us as a support worker before becoming a team leader and PBM experienced practitioner. As part of the virtual team providing additional support to those during tricky transition periods, Jordan is an experienced leader.
He explains that "My PBS philosophy is that happier people challenge less, so let's find out how to make them happy!"
Rachael McEwan is based in Cornwall and joined us in 2018. She has been a support worker for a wide variety of amazing services within Brandon. Previously, she worked in a primary school for seven years supporting children with behaviours that challenge. During this time, she also qualified as a counsellor.
Rachael says: "I’m looking forward to continuing my work within Brandon in my new role."
Danni Hull is based in Oxfordshire and is new to Brandon. Her background includes working as a support worker in a respite centre, and leading an inclusive play scheme. She moved to specialising in working therapeutically with young people and their families with social, emotional, and mental health needs, and training educational professionals to support students with behaviours that challenge.
Danni tell us: "I am thrilled to be joining Brandon and becoming part of the amazing work everyone does with the people we support!”