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Discuss the problems of challenging behaviour in people with learning disabilities Challenging behaviour has played a major role in why some people with severe learning disabilities fail to live in the community as normal citizens More than one million people with intellectual disabilities also show additional problematic behaviours Hill and Bruininks 1984 These behaviours include aggression self-injury inappropriate social or sexual conduct and destructiveness The combination of these intellectual and behavioural disabilities is putting carers and family members at risk Emerson E et al 1999 Clinical Psychology and People with Intellectual DisabilitiesCambridge United Press Behavioural psychology has played an influential part in guiding thinking and practice with regard to the assessment and treatment of challenging behaviours and the introduction of such interventions have led to a decrease in the number of incidents over the past few decades Emerson E et al 1999 Clinical Psychology and People with Intellectual Disabilities Cambridge United Press The following essay seeks to give a concise introduction to the field of challenging behaviour and secondly to discuss the more recent theories of behaviour analysis and how these could be incorporated into practice to enable people with intellectual disabilities to become more fully participating members in our communities What is challenging behaviour According to Emerson et al 1988 challenging behaviour can be defined as culturally abnormal behaviours 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 limit use of or result in the person being denied access to ordinary community facilities This is perhaps a negative approach to the topic implying that people who show challenging behaviour have wide-ranging social and personal consequences Blunden and Allen 1987 on the other hand point out that the term challenging behaviour emphasizes that such behaviours represent challenges to services rather than problems which individuals with learning disabilities in some way carry around
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