Challenging behaviour in profound & multiple learning disabilities: is support well planned and documented?


The lives of some people with profound and multiple learning disabilities are affected by challenging behaviours, which include self-injurious, stereotypical, destructive, or aggressive behaviours.

Here in his debut blog, Paul Barnard looks at a study from the Netherlands which looked at whether challenging behaviour was being addressed formally in day to day practice.

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Can early intervention reduce challenging behaviour in children with learning disabilities?

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Children with learning disabilities are more likely to have challenging behaviours and as a result are more at risk of social exclusion, deprivation, physical harm and abuse.

In her debut blog, Alix Dixon considers the findings of a recent literature review of early interventions for children with challenging behaviours and their families.

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Trial-Based Functional Analysis has limited validity outside of defined clinical settings

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Responses to behaviour that challenges are far more likely to be successful if based on good quality functional analysis.

In his debut blog, Russell Woolgar considers the effectiveness of Trial Based Functional Assessment, and looks at a systematic review which also aims to identify future areas for research.

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New charter of rights and mandatory commissioning framework recommended by Bubb Report

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The Bubb report has now been published. It recommends a new commissioning framework for services provided for people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are currently in inappropriate hospital units.

Here we take a look at the recommendations and ask if it is enough to bring about the change that is so clearly needed.

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Equipping family carers with better information about in-patient assessment and treatment for people with learning disabilities

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We know that access to accurate information is crucial if people are to make good decisions about the support they get from services. If someone with a learning disability is admitted to a hospital unit for assessment or treatment for a mental health issue or in response to behaviour that is challenging support services, this can be a particularly difficult and confusing time for all concerned.

In her debut blog, Alison Giraud-Saunders, along with co-author Angela Cole, describes a booklet that she co-authored with the involvement of family members which has lots of key information on the law and people’s rights.

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Lack of studies of pharmacological interventions among adults with autism and learning disability leave clinicians with little guidance

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1 in 100 adults experience autism worldwide but little research exists on autism in adults. Adults with autism and learning disability may have distinct needs, and in particular challenging behaviour, which may increase their social isolation and reduce access to quality health care.

In her debut blog, Kate van Dooren looks at a systematic review from Canadian researchers who examined the evidence for the use of medications for challenging behaviours in adults with autism and learning disability.

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Measure of confidence in providing psychological therapies for people with learning disabilities could help with outcome measurement


We report on a recent study, which involved developing a measure of confidence in delivering psychotherapy for people with learning disabilities.

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Call for national audit to create guidelines for future role of anti-psychotic medications for challenging behaviour

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As you know, we don’t normally blog about editorials on the Learning Disability Elf site, but this is on an important issue that affects a lot of people and we were keen to draw attention to the considered thoughts of the authors. We have posted many times in the past about the evidence base for [read the full story…]

Mindfulness based stress reduction for parents also impacted on child behaviour

Stress associated with being the parent of a child with learning disabilities is well documented. Mencap’s Breaking Point campaign has highlighted this very clearly. Their survey of families found more than 9 out of 10 family carers reported high levels of stress with over half of family carers either having given up, or considering giving [read the full story…]

Positive mental health for people with learning disabilities is aim of new report


There is evidence that the people with learning disabilities have a higher prevalence of mental health issues than those in the general population. The rate of dementia is higher and people with Down syndrome are at particularly high risk of developing dementia, with a much earlier age of onset. The most recent guide for commissioners [read the full story…]