I returned to Learning Arc on 7 February 2016 for yet another workshop for parents and teachers. It was encouraging to see a packed room and familiar faces from the ADHD workshop in December. This time we tackled Behaviour Management in children with learning difficulties. A lively discussion ensured everybody’s attention. While there were a few sceptics of Behaviour Therapy most agreed on its benefits in children with additional learning needs.
The workshop began with a simple explanation of the meaning of behaviour followed by a brief history of the origins of Behaviour Therapy in Psychology. Several causes of misbehaviour were discussed. Then the parents and teachers were introduced to techniques of Behaviour Management which could be used at home and school, namely token economy, behaviour charts and contingency plans. A major part of the workshop involved case studies of children in different age groups with various difficulties. We listed ways we could use Behaviour Management techniques in each case. This exercise highlighted the importance of understanding a child’s behaviour before addressing it. The challenges parents and teachers face while employing a behaviour modification program for their child were also brought up.
Behaviour Therapy is also known as Behaviour Management or Behaviour Modification Therapy. It is an action based therapy with roots in the Behaviourism school of Psychology which gained importance in the 1950s. It has since evolved and proven effective in dealing with behaviour challenges in children; it is also used for adults. Two commonly used types of Behaviour Therapy are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
Behaviour Management is a popular method for dealing with challenging behaviour. A more effective way is yet to be found, researched and proven. Chances are you are already using Behaviour Management techniques without knowing it. Praising your children, rewarding them with stickers and stars, using time-out for misbehaviour or modelling acceptable behaviour are all part of Behaviour Management Therapy.