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Learning disabilities: challenging behaviour

This quality standard covers the care of children, young people and adults with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges.

Why this quality standard is needed

Some people with a learning disability display behaviour that challenges. 'Behaviour that challenges' is not a diagnosis and is used in this quality standard to indicate that although such behaviour is a challenge to services, family members and carers, it may serve a purpose for the person with a learning disability (for example, by producing sensory stimulation, attracting attention, avoiding demands and communicating with other people). This behaviour often results from the interaction between personal and environmental factors and can include aggression, self-injury, stereotypic behaviour, withdrawal and disruptive or destructive behaviour. This quality standard uses the following definition of behaviour that challenges:

'Culturally abnormal behaviour(s) of such an intensity, frequency or duration that the physical safety of the person or others is likely to be placed in serious jeopardy, or behaviour which is likely to seriously limit use of, or result in the person being denied access to, ordinary community facilities.' (Emerson, 1995).