Positive behaviour support (PBS) is a way to provide support for individuals with a learning disability, autism or complex needs with behaviours that are challenging.

Watch an introduction to PBS by Bild.

Information about PBS for family carers.

The main aspects of positive behaviour support

The aim is to improve quality of life for the individual and the people around them.

quality of life

A proactive and preventative person-centered approach, focusing on:

  • teaching new skills to replace behaviours that challenge
  • getting the environment right for that individual rather than just responding to behaviour that challenges.

proactive and preventative

It seeks to understand the reason for that behaviour so that any unmet needs can be met.

understanding behaviour

It improves support and empowers people to use better and less harmful or restrictive methods, focusing on positive reinforcement.

support and empowerment

It supports individuals to have the human rights and opportunities that others have by enabling inclusion, choice, participation and equality of opportunity.

values led

The assessment process considers life history, health and emotional needs and perspectives of the main individuals in their life, and where possible planning with them (along with other staff and professionals).

a variety of needs and perspectives

It's an evidence-based approach, linking published research to practice. Other evidence-based approaches and therapies can be used within PBS, such as:

  • speech and language therapy
  • counselling or therapy for trauma or diagnosed mental health problems.

evidence based

What may be included in a PBS plan

Behaviour support plans include:

A lady holding up a plan.

Summarising what is known about the behaviour which challenges, including what triggers and maintains the behaviour. It offers an informed view about the purpose of the undesirable behaviour.

Strategies that may be used to reduce the likelihood that the individual will display the undesirable behaviour. This includes changes in activities, new ways to prompt an individual, and changes in expectations.

Teachable skills that will replace the undesirable behaviour.

Guidelines for how to respond to undesirable behaviours in ways that can help manage the behaviour. It may also include positive reinforcement strategies to promote use of new skills or a more appropriate or desirable behaviour.

This will help in achieving any long-term goals for the individual, such as to develop friendships.

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