Building Partnerships to Decrease Challenging Behaviors

From tantrums and defiance to verbal and physical aggression, children and adults with developmental disabilities can sometimes present tremendous challenges to parents, teachers, and professional caregivers.  The long-held belief is that these undesirable behaviors are the result of passive, permissive, and inconsistent parenting.  However, there is increasing research that offers a better explanation: they are lacking crucial cognitive skills in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving.  This is a unique opportunity for teachers, professional caregivers, and families to explore new ways of understanding and partnering to change challenging behaviors in children and adults with developmental disabilities.  This all-day seminar will include these core concepts:

Why Behaviors Happen

We will first explore the several factors that affect our behaviors and the behaviors of the people we work with.  We will consider the functions of behaviors and why specific behaviors are used to serve those functions.  The group will discuss several of the common skill deficits that people with developmental disabilities have and how they contribute to problematic behaviors.

Positive Practices for Behavioral Change

We will talk about the two key ingredients for creating positive change in behaviors: creating a supportive environment and teaching skills.  Caregivers can assist the people they are caring for by helping to create a behavior-friendly environment that increases the chance for success.  Attendees will also learn how to utilize person-centered active treatment to teach skills that are truly necessary to engage in behaviors that are more desirable and acceptable.

Responding to Agitated Individuals

Finally, the seminar will explore strategies that are designed to collaboratively assist people with developmental disabilities regain control and calm down while keeping everyone’s safety in mind.  Those attending the session will learn very specific steps and phrases that will give them confidence in working through difficult situations.  Note: physical restraints will not be taught in this class.

About the Instructor:

Jason Hoffrogge, is the training director for Orion Associates, a human resources agency for companies working with people who have disabilities. Jason has 18 years of experience in working with people who have disabilities in residential, vocational, and crisis settings. Jason has also been a part-time firefighter and first responder for the past nine years.

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