A person’s behaviour can be defined as “challenging” if it puts them or those around them (such as their carer) at risk, or leads to a poorer quality of life.

It can also impact on their ability to join in everyday activities. Challenging behaviour can include aggression, self-harm, destructiveness and disruptiveness.

Communication is the main way we interact and express our needs, likes and dislikes. If communication is a problem, it can be very frustrating for the person and may result in challenging behaviour. If this behaviour leads to a desired outcome, it may be repeated again and again.

Challenging behaviour is often seen in people with conditions that affect communication and the brain, such as learning disabilities or dementia.

You may be able to prevent behavioural outbursts. Some people find that a distraction can focus a person’s energies elsewhere and prevent them from displaying challenging behaviour.

Such distraction therapies can take the form of activities as the person may behave in a particular way because they’re bored and have built up too much energy, and a routine involving regular exercise could help solve both of these issues.  Music and Films may be offered as a means of relaxation.