How to Help Children and Young People with Complex Behavioural Difficulties: A Guide for Practitioners Working in Educational Settings

How to Help Children and Young People with Complex Behavioural Difficulties: A Guide for Practitioners Working in Educational Settings


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Young people with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD - sometimes called 'SEBD' or 'EBD') need effective and consistent support, yet providing this can be highly stressful and demanding for the practitioners involved. Complete with practical intervention strategies based on research, theory and practice, this comprehensive handbook provides practitioners with the information and tools they need to deal with BESD in a way that is of benefit to them as well as to the children they work with.

The book begins by expanding the reader's general understanding of BESD in children. The authors examine the underlying causes, explore what can be learned from past experience, and discuss research-based theory. They then offer a range of interventions and therapies for use in and out of school, and encourage practitioners to develop skills such as engaging with parents, identifying special educational needs and setting constructive boundaries. Finally, the needs of practitioners themselves are addressed. The authors advise on how to collaborate productively with other professions and stress the importance of supporting colleagues and developing the personal resilience needed to cope in difficult circumstances.

Wide-ranging, accessible and current, this guide will be an invaluable resource for the professional development of teachers and other practitioners working with young people with BESD/SEBD in educational settings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849050494
Publisher: Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
Publication date: 09/15/2010
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Ted Cole was until recently a Director of the Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties Association (SEBDA), and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Education, University of Bath. He is also co-editor of the journal 'Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties', published by Routledge. Barbara Knowles is Executive Director of SEBDA, and previously worked as Deputy Head and Acting Head of an inner-city secondary school in Manchester. Her career has been devoted to working with disadvantaged and often challenging children.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations 9

Foreword 11

Chapter 1 Introduction 13

The need for this book 13

Case studies 14

How the English government sees BESD 16

Terminology: Why 'BESD' rather than 'SEBD' or 'EBD'" 18

The extent of BESD 19

Are BESDs in children getting more frequent and worse" 22

The content of the book 23

People rather than places matter 24

Part 1 Understanding Besd

Chapter 2 The Past, the Present and Patterns of Educational Provision 29

Problems of definition and placement 30

Debates and themes: c.1850-1950 30

Providing for 'the maladjusted': 1950-1975 31

Provision for young offenders and other children 'at risk' 33

The national survey of provision for maladjusted children, 1975-1978 34

'Emotional and behavioural difficulties': 1980s into the new century 35

Developments in the early 21st century 38

Patterns of Provision for children with BESD 43

Review 44

Chapter 3 Child Development and BESD 46

Genetic inheritance: The nature/nurture debate 48

The development of the brain 48

Attachment 52

Bonding and 'claiming' 56

Meeting the needs of children 57

Parenting style 58

Development of self-concept and self-esteem 58

Internal working models 60

'Fixed' and 'growth' mindsets 61

Ages and stages of development 62

Play 64

Risk and resilience factors in childhood 65

Separation and loss 67

Parental separation and divorce 69

Defining well-being, mental health and mental-health problems 71


Anxiety 72

Depression 72

Self-harm and suicide 74

Eating disorders and obesity 76

Review: The iceberg of behaviour 78

Chapter 4 Further Theory Underpinning Effective Interventions 80

The Psychodynamic Approach 81

The Behaviourist Approach 82

The Cognitive-Behavioural Approach 86

Mindfulness 88

Positive Psychology 90

Review 92

Part 2 Helpful Interventions

Chapter 5 Whole-School Influences 95

Inclusive values and ethos 95

Leadership 96

A critical mass of staff committed to inclusive values 97

Whole-School learning and behaviour policies 98

Caring, sharing, learning settings 100

Delivering skilled teaching responsive to BESD 101

Respecting and listening to pupils with BESD and encouraging participation 103

SEAL and promoting health and well-being 104

'Outward-looking schools' 105

Review 105

Chapter 6 Helpful Group Interventions in Class and Around School 106

Do we sometimes make BESD worse" 107

Skilled class teaching and curriculum delivery reduces BESD 108

The positive impact of established and rehearsed routines 115

Building well-being in the classroom (SEAL) 118

Specific group approaches 123

Checking the behavioural environment: Physical design and layout 126

Your part in lessening BESD 128

Review 129

Chapter 7 The Individual Child from an Educational Perspective 130

The teaching and learning intervention cycle 131

Assessment and planning 132

Identifying and responding to special (or 'additional') educational needs 136

Individual support through personalised learning 142

Stafflanguage and communication 144

Rewarding behaviour to encourage a 'growth' mindset 146

Behaviour in and around the classroom 147

Helpful use of support staff 151

Handling transitions to new classes or schools 152

Review 152

Chapter 8 Well-being, Mental Health and the Individual Child 154

Factors in creating a helpful relationship with a child with BESD 155

Talking and listening 157

Using art, creative activities and play 158

Sport and exercise 159

The appropriate use of physical contact 160

'Positive handling' or 'use of force' 162

Safeguarding issues 164

A healing approach to anger management 165

Applying cognitive behavioural principles to practice 169

Mindfulness 171

Solution-focused brief approaches 173

Addressing mental-health difficulties in children with BESD 176

Review 183

Chapter 9 Support from Beyond Your Work Setting 185

Behaviour partnerships 185

'Pastoral Support Programmes': Accessing support from other agencies 187

The Common Assessment Framework 188

Different supporting agencies and their roles 189

Fair expectations of social workers and CAMHS 194

The challenge of confidentiality, information sharing and working together 198

Building links and trust 199

Knowing your local services 199

Review 199

Chapter 10 Working with Parents and Carers 201

Government advice and expectations 202

Obstacles to close working with parents and carers 203

How people feel when referred to CAMHS or children's services 204

Strategies for engaging parents 205

Parent training and support programmes 208

Review 209

Chapter 11 Review and Conclusions 210

Review of key points 210

Caring for the practitioner 213

Appendix 1 The SEBDA abbreviated policy on inclusion and SEBD (BESD) 219

Appendix 2 Identifying support from local services 220

Recommended Resources 221

References 224

Subject Index 235

Author Index 239

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