Medication Pathway

Section A Introduction

What is challenging behaviour?

Some children and adults with a learning disability, autism or both may display ‘problem’ or ‘unusual’ behaviours. These can include:

  • Aggression (e.g. hitting, kicking, spitting)
  • Self-injury (e.g. head banging, scratching, skin-picking)
  • Destruction (e.g. throwing items, ripping clothing)
  • Disruptive or stereotyped behaviours (e.g. rocking, stripping, running off)

This behaviour can be stressful, upsetting and impact on the lives of the whole family. It is challenging for the person, family carers and others who support the person.

There is always a reason for challenging behaviour. In many cases, it can result in the person getting their needs met or having some control over what is going on around them. They might be ill or in pain, or want to get something specific. It is important to understand the reasons behind challenging behaviour for change to happen!

See our Understanding Challenging Behaviour information sheet to find out more.