Category Archives for "Health and Behaviour"

Aug 18 2016

What are Positive Behaviour Supports – PBS?

I think these terms get thrown around a fair bit without a really strong understanding of what they actually mean. I’m guilty of this myself, but since working with a bunch of families and children facing some pretty gnarly behavioural challenges, I’m learning more everyday.

So, in layman’s terms, what is PBS? It’s a multi step process that starts with an evidence based (we have lots to prove it works) way of collecting and analysing information for each individual, about the reasons and triggers for their behaviours, and what the person is communicating through the behaviour. Once that info is collected and understood, PBS

works to help that person to find less damaging ways to express themselves, and alternative ways to communicate needs and frustrations.

It also works hard to improve the life of the person, because often lousy behaviours are a way to say “I’m bored” or “I don’t like this activity” without using words (All behaviour is communication!!).

A PBS plan will give concrete ideas and ways to prevent, reduce and respond to specific and general challenging behaviours across all areas of life, and if it’s used consistently – at home, school, respite etc etc., it can make a HUGE difference in the person’s quality of life.

PBS doesn’t happen overnight. It can be a long, hard (and not cheap) slog for everyone – especially for the person with challenging behaviour, but the results will be much longer lasting and far more worthwhile than the older punishment based ways of managing behaviour.

NDIS funds can be used to develop a PBS Plan and implementation.

Here’s an awesome little six minute video from BILD UK that explains it better than I just did! Enjoy!

Jan 12 2015

12 Practical Ways to Help a Family when their Child is in Hospital


Aside from being a great listener when a friend or family member had a child in hospital, there are some really practical ways to make a difference, and relieve some of the pressures and stress and exhaustion of staying in hospital with a sick, injured or recovering kiddo.

Here are twelve of my favourites.

1. Offer to pick up any other children from school, take them to your place, feed and bathe them and keep them for an overnight, or drop them home at bedtime if there’s another parent at home.

2. Offer to pick up and look after the dog/cat/tortoise/chooks, or at least walk the dog and pick up the poop in the yard.

3. Ask for a spare key, and to go home and pick up some stuff for them – ugg boots, toothbrush, decent pillow, book, the child’s sleeping toy, nail clippers or a phone charger – whatever it is they’ve forgotten or might make things slightly more comfortable.

4. While you’re at their house, clean up a bit, take out the rubbish and the compost bin, check there’s no washing going mouldy in the machine (hang it out!) or just do a few dishes and sweep the floor. Do bring in the mail and take in/out the rubbish bins.

5. Ask if you can visit, and if you can stay and watch their kiddo for a little bit so they can go for a walk outside (fresh air is so important for the sleep deprived, but don’t offer if you’re sick!)).

6. Bring decent food! Fresh stuff – a yiros, some sushi, a salad or soup you made at home, or even just some fresh fruit. (I’ve even snuck in a bottle of vino and a couple of glasses for one frequent flyer Mum)

7. If they’re in for a while, go for a visit, pick up the dirty laundry and return it washed and folded.

8. If their phone is on a pre-pay plan, you could offer to recharge it, or even do it sneakily – you only need to know their number and carrier (which you can see just by looking at the top of the screen on most smartphones) to recharge online.

9. Bring in something to help entertain – a pack of Uno cards, some lego or duplo, a puzzle, a trashy magazine, a sticker book, or an iTunes card.

10. Bring a favourite storybook, and read to the child – the age doesn’t matter – infants to teens – when you’re feeling lousy, sometimes listening to a story is all you can manage. Here’s a good list of read-aloud books divided up by ages/stages:

11. Offer them use of your car for an hour while you visit and watch their kiddo. They can catch up on chores, have a shower at home, or maybe you could even book them a massage! (there are few places on earth where parents get less comfortable sleep, and a sorer back and shoulders, than a parent “bed” in hospital)

12. When you know they’re coming home, buy some milk, fresh bread, a bit of fruit and some chocolate (or whatever you think they might appreciate) and maybe even grab a roast chook and some coleslaw and pop them in the fridge for an easy first dinner home.

by Sam Paior April 2015