Challenging & complex behaviours: Positive Behaviour Support plans
A Positive Behaviour Support plan
gives us insight into a person's behaviour, then strategies to
encourage appropriate behaviours and a quality of life.
A Positive Behaviour Support plan is not just for professionals,
but can be used by families as well when a disability such as a
traumatic brain injury has led to challenging behaviours.
A Positive Behaviour Support plan aims
- Observe and measure the behaviour
- Identify what causes or contributes to the behaviour
- Choose possible approaches and strategies for change.
Triggers for behaviour are avoided or minimized, or the person
is encouraged to identify triggers, advise when they occur, and use
When the challenging behaviour occurs, everyone will
consistently respond using the strategies agreed on.
Example of a Positive Behaviour
WHY THE BEHAVIOUR OCCURS: Ian has a brain injury. His ability to
process some information is impaired, and he may become
disinhibited. Ian talks excessively about the desire to have
RESPONSE 1: family members gently remind Ian that this behaviour
is not appropriate. Tell Ian "Please do not talk about this with
me". Responses should be consistent, respectful and timely. If Ian
does not stop, use the second response.
RESPONSE 2: If Ian continues to talk about his desire to have sex,
advise him again that you do not wish for him to talk like this
with you and that you are going to leave the room.
REMEMBER: Not to take Ian's behaviour personally. It is important
that all team members are consistent and patient in their
responses. Redirection could be useful (e.g. "Ian can you help me
to . . .?").
SUPPORT & ASSIST: Once the behaviour has stopped, return and
advise Ian that the behaviour was not appropriate. Ask him if he
would like to talk to someone about it.
REINFORCE: When Ian is not discussing sex, reinforce his
appropriate communication (e.g. "I've really enjoyed our
conversations today, Ian").
A summary checklist
- What are the different behaviours displayed?
- Which behaviours will be focused upon first?
- Why is the behaviour a problem?
- What pattern has been observed for each target behaviour?
- What are the specific target behaviours within this
- What seems to cause or contribute to the behaviour?
- How will change be measured?
- What are the possible approaches and strategies for
- What level of control and participation is possible for the
person with the brain injury?
- Could this plan be relevant to other behaviours?
- Have the person's rights been fully protected within the