Positive Behaviour Support – an article and resource written by Georgina Robertson
As an Autistic parent of an Autistic Child with co-occurring conditions which impact not only upon our functionality from day to day but also on how we are perceived and treated by both professionals and those within our community. I have over time become concerned of the impact upon children’s emotional, physical and mental wellbeing due to behavioural management strategies, policies implemented within educational provisions to manage behaviours perceived as of concern by professionals.
Concerned when I hear the acknowledgement that a child is masking but deny the child needs therapeutic support. Despite research highlighting the detrimental effects of echopraxia/masking upon the emotional and mental wellbeing of a child. Such as highlighted by Dr Luke Beardon of apparent competence resulting in a lack of appropriate support and recognition; exhaustion; lack of understanding of oneself; intense stress; build-up of stress leading to a meltdown (Beardon, 2017).
I have observed differences between different educational frameworks and the impact upon a child and children within the same family within the community. Experienced parental blame that is used to justify or excuse actions undertaken by professionals. Along with the realization that my families’ experiences are not an isolated case but experienced UK wide.
This has led to my questioning the impact upon children and families identified as being autistic by the practices set out within formal educational via their behavioural management policies in both state and independent provisions. Are they truly holistic; humanistic and child centred? Whose needs are they designed to meet.?
Are they beneficial or detrimental to a child’s wellbeing?
These are some of the questions I hope to answer through this assessment by critiquing Positive Behaviour Support. (PBS).