Skip to main content

Dealing with behaviours of concern can be a complex and stressful journey, particularly for those caring for individuals with disabilities. In such cases, NDIS offers a lifeline through its Positive Behaviour Support Capability (PBS) framework. By focusing on proactive strategies and person-centered approaches, NDIS PBS aims to enhance the quality of life for individuals with behaviours of concern.

Within this article, we will explore the invaluable role of PBS in supporting people with disabilities and their caregivers. From providing tailored plans to equipping caregivers with the necessary tools and resources, NDIS PBS offers a comprehensive and holistic approach. Through early intervention and ongoing support, individuals can develop essential life skills, improve communication, and encourage positive social interactions. Additionally, PBS acknowledges the importance of addressing the underlying causes of behaviours of concern and promotes the use of evidence-based strategies to manage and reduce such behaviours effectively.

What is Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)?

Over the years we have seen that behaviours of concern can manifest in various ways, such as aggression, self-injury, or property destruction. These behaviours often stem from communication difficulties, frustration, or an inability to regulate emotions. They can significantly impact the individual’s quality of life, as well as their relationships with others. Caregivers may experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout while trying to manage these behaviours.

The principles of Positive Behaviour Support

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is an evidence-based approach that focuses on understanding the underlying causes of behaviours of concern and developing strategies to address them effectively. Instead of relying on punishment or control, PBS emphasises proactive interventions that promote positive behaviours and improve overall quality of life.

At its core, PBS is person-centered, meaning that it recognises the individual’s unique needs, preferences, and strengths. It involves collaboration between the individual, their caregivers, and a team of professionals, such as psychologists, behaviour analysts, and support workers. By working together, they create a personalised support plan that aims to reduce behaviours of concern and enhance the individual’s overall wellbeing.

The benefits of implementing Positive Behaviour Support

PBS Specialists – like the professionals at Achieve & Thrive – focus on understanding and addressing behaviours of concern in individuals with disabilities. We always base our strategy on four pillars:

1. Person-centered approach

Every individual is unique and has their own set of strengths, needs, and aspirations. We encourage active participation from the individual and their support network in decision-making and goal setting.

2. Proactive strategies

Instead of reacting to behaviours of concern, we focus on preventing them from occurring in the first place. This involves identifying triggers and implementing strategies to address them before they escalate.

3. Evidence-based interventions

We rely on scientifically proven strategies and techniques to manage behaviours of concern effectively. This ensures that the approaches used are grounded in research and have a higher likelihood of success.

4. Collaborative approach

Positive outcomes happen when the individual, their caregivers, and a team of professionals all collaborate. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that all aspects of the individual’s life are considered and that interventions are implemented consistently across different settings.

Positive Behaviour Support planning process

Over the years, we have observed that the implementation of Positive Behaviour Support can yield a profound positive impact on individuals with behaviours of concern and their caregivers.

Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Improved quality of life: By addressing behaviours of concern and promoting positive alternatives, PBS helps individuals lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives. They can develop essential life skills, enhance their communication abilities, and engage in positive social interactions.
  2. Enhanced independence: PBS aims to empower individuals and promote their independence. By focusing on strengths and building on existing skills, individuals can become more self-sufficient and achieve their goals.
  3. Reduced stress and improved well-being: Caregivers often experience high levels of stress and burnout when managing behaviours of concern. Our PBS Specialists provide them with the necessary tools and support to navigate these concerns effectively, reducing stress and improving overall well-being.
  4. Greater inclusion and participation: PBS encourages individuals to actively participate in their communities and engage in meaningful activities. By promoting positive behaviours and addressing barriers, individuals can experience a greater sense of belonging and inclusion.

How to create an effective Positive Behaviour Support plan

The Positive Behaviour Support planning process involves several key steps to ensure a comprehensive and tailored approach:

  1. Assessment: We begin with a thorough assessment of the individual’s strengths, needs, and behaviours of concern. This helps identify the underlying causes and develop appropriate interventions.
  2. Goal setting: Together, with the individual and their support team we define goals and desired outcomes. These goals reflect the individual’s aspirations, such as improving communication skills or reducing aggressive behaviours.
  3. Support plan development: Based on the assessment and goal setting, we develop a support plan. This plan includes strategies, interventions, and resources to address behaviours of concern and promote positive alternatives.
  4. Implementation and monitoring: We put the support plan into action, and regularly monitor and evaluate it. We make adjustments as needed to ensure the plan continues to meet the individual’s evolving needs.

How to develop a successful PBS plan

An effective Positive Behaviour Support plan incorporates several key components to address behaviours of concern comprehensively:

1. Functional behaviour assessment

This involves identifying the functions that the behaviour of concern serves for the individual. By understanding the purpose or underlying need behind the behaviour, appropriate interventions can be developed.

2. Replacement behaviours

PBS focuses on teaching individuals’ alternative behaviours that serve the same function as the behaviour of concern. This helps individuals meet their needs in a more socially acceptable way.

3. Environmental modifications

Modifying the environment can help reduce triggers and create a more supportive and conducive setting for positive behaviours. This may involve changes in physical space, routines, or access to preferred activities.

4. Skill-building

PBS emphasises the development of essential life skills that enable individuals to cope with concerns and engage in positive behaviours. This may include communication skills, emotional regulation, or problem-solving abilities.

5. Crisis management

Despite proactive strategies, crises may still occur. An effective PBS plan includes crisis management strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of the individual and those around them.

5 strategies to managing behaviours of concern effectively

Positive Behaviour Support utilises a range of evidence-based strategies and interventions to manage and reduce behaviours of concern effectively. Some commonly used strategies include:

  1. Positive reinforcement: By reinforcing desired behaviours with rewards or praise, individuals are more likely to engage in those behaviours. This approach focuses on highlighting and encouraging positive alternatives.
  2. Visual supports: Visual supports, such as schedules, social stories, or visual cues, can help individuals understand expectations and navigate daily routines. They provide a visual structure that supports communication and reduces anxiety.
  3. Social skills training: Social skills training programs help individuals develop appropriate social interactions and relationships. These programs focus on teaching skills such as turn-taking, sharing, and active listening.
  4. Functional communication training: Many behaviours of concern stem from communication difficulties. Functional communication training teaches individuals alternative ways to express their needs and desires, reducing frustration and behaviours of concern.
  5. Sensory strategies: Some behaviours of concern may be influenced by sensory sensitivities. NDIS PBS incorporates sensory strategies, such as providing sensory breaks or modifying the environment, to help individuals regulate their sensory experiences.

Conclusion and the importance of PBS in enhancing quality of life

NDIS recognises the importance of providing training and resources to individuals, caregivers, and support workers involved in implementing Positive Behaviour Support. These resources can enhance understanding, build skills, and promote consistency in the approach. Some available resources include:

  1. Workshops and training programs: NDIS offers workshops and training programs that focus on Positive Behaviour Support. These programs provide practical strategies and tools to support individuals and their caregivers.
  2. Online resources and toolkits: NDIS provides online resources and toolkits that offer guidance and information on implementing Positive Behaviour Support. These resources are easily accessible and can be accessed at any time.
  3. Support from professionals: NDIS connects individuals and their caregivers with professionals, such as behaviour analysts or psychologists, who can provide specialised support and guidance in implementing Positive Behaviour Support.

Our professionals at Achieve & Thrive have years of experience in Positive Behaviour Support. If you know have a client, please feel free to refer them to us, we are more than happy to assist.