Pure Soul Learning Foundation in conjunction with Patrick Speech and Languages Centre held another serie of their monthly training programme “on management of children with Autism spectrum disorder; and other related developmental challenges on 17th of June, 2017.

The topic for the month’s training was “Behaviour Management”. The traininginvolved mind- blowing discussions on how we can address challenging behaviour. The participants of this programme included Parents, teachers and therapists.

The training started by 10:30 am with a welcome address by Mrs Aanu Senbanjo, followed by an introduction of the facilitator, Mr Bidemi Yinusa(certified Autism Specialist).

The facilitator introduced the topic of the training by explaining what behaviour is i.e. what a person does, and that every behaviour serves a function, meaning there is a reason for a particular behaviour. So it is very important for parents and teachers/therapists to ask themselves questions about a particular behavioural difficulty such as, “what is the person trying to tell them”, and to think about the function of the behaviour.  The function of behavior might be to attain or avoid something; it can also be to get attention.

He talked about inappropriate behaviour, that is, acts that are not socially acceptable in a society e.g. aggression, self-injurious behaviour and attachment to a particular object. He stated the reasons why such behaviour should be addressed, as these can cause distractions from learning for the individual and others in the class or environment and also, the behaviour might not stop if not addressed.

He stressed the need to understand the different factors that may be involved in triggering and maintaining a particular behaviour, gathering together these behavioural clues and developing an hypothesis to explain why such behaviour is occurring (functional analysis).  To complete the analysis, we need to gather information about what happened before, during and after a behavioural incident, and to understand any relevant factors that may trigger the behaviour. This brings about the “ABC” logs (Antecedent, Behaviour and Consequence).

He also talked about the need to measure behaviour through data collection. This helps to determine if intervention is working or not; that parents should try to generate baseline while addressing behaviour, be consistent and make sure they replace inappropriate behaviour with an appropriate one. He made mention of the use of reinforcer as a very important tool in addressing behaviour, as this increases the likehood that the behaviour will occur. Therefore, parents should try to reinforce any positive attempt made by a child by giving him/her what he/she likes most.

During the interactive session, all the participants joyfully participated, individual were able to proffer solutions to the scenarios displayed according to their own knowledge.The facilitator also gave some helpful hints that parents can imbibe e.g. addressing a particular behaviour at a time and not all the behaviours at the same time, be consistent, reinforce, ask questions and be mindful of the language they use.

Mrs Dotun Akande featured during the questions and answers session of the programme. She was able to proffer solutions to the participants’ questions individually, and to their utmost satisfaction. She also encouraged parents to introduce sports activities to their children, as this reduces energy, builds attention, warms up the brain and develops functional life skills.

After Mrs Akande’swords of encouragement and appreciation, refreshments were served and a group photograph was taken. The participants exchanged some ideas and bid themselves farewell.