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Newsletter: December 2021

Dealing with challenging behaviour in children is commonly faced by many parents. Every child is different, even for children with special needs. Therefore, it is important to understand what triggers their outbursts.

Children with special needs may exhibit more ‘difficult’ behaviour because of their developmental disabilities which may affect how they communicate, understand or express themselves. The key to managing these challenges is to understand what triggers these issues and ways to work around them.

Here are some useful interventions shared by one of our caregivers.

Jovan*, 35, has Down syndrome and difficulty completing tasks being assigned to him. He also displays difficult behaviour whenever he feels stressed, threatened, or upset over certain routines and environmental arrangements. These coping strategies have helped to bring them closer as they work together to manage these challenges in their everyday lives.

  1. Praise him with words of encouragement such as “You are a good boy or Your School shared that you are well behaved in school”. These positive reinforcements will lift Jovan’s spirit and encourage him to stay in good behaviour.
  2. Be patient but assertive. Jovan’s father will set clear rules and highlight the consequences of his bad behaviour. For example, if Jovan displays tantrums outside, his father will emphasize that he will not be allowed to participate in future outings if he continues to display such bad behaviours.
  3. Avoid confrontation, calm him down by engaging him in things he likes to do, such as watching his favourite TV programmes.
  4. Bring him out for a walk to help him release his frustration and stress. Jovan’s father will observe his behaviour and make sures that he cools down before heading back home.  

*To protect our client’s identity, his name has been changed.