Shifting Mindsets: Understanding Behaviour as Communication

In order to implement interventions effectively, we need to shift our mindset around behaviour. As educators, we know that behaviour can become the primary means of communication for our students with complex needs. It is important to remember that all behaviour serves a purpose and is goal-oriented.

When a student exhibits challenging behaviour, it may be difficult to determine the exact reasons behind it. Instead of solely focusing on the behaviour itself, we should explore what the underlying goal is and what obstacles may be impeding their progress. By understanding their goals and leveraging their strengths, we can help them achieve those goals in a more positive and constructive way.

It is crucial to consider alternative explanations when trying to understand behaviours. Factors such as sensory sensitivities, communication difficulties, or anxiety may contribute to challenging behaviours. By exploring different perspectives, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the student’s experience and tailor interventions accordingly.

One important shift in thinking is adopting a brain, not blame mindset. Instead of attributing negative intent or seeking fault in the individual, we need to understand that behaviours are often a result of underlying challenges. By focusing on providing appropriate supports and interventions, we can address those challenges and foster positive growth.

By shifting our mindset and understanding that behaviour is a form of communication, we can better support students with complex needs. It allows us to look beyond the surface-level and explore the underlying goals and obstacles they face. Adopting a brain, not blame mindset creates a more compassionate and inclusive learning environment that promotes understanding and empowers students.

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