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At times you may become concerned about your child’s behaviour especially if it is disruptive or puts his safety at risk. You may be wondering ‘why does he do that?’ Keep in mind that behaviours occur for a reason and it can take some time to understand why the behaviour is occurring and how to deal with it.

We’ve provided you with many tools and resources to help get started, to gather information, develop a plan for change, and to try new teaching methods. Most behaviour problems can be analyzed by you and others working with your child but, some behaviour problems require professional intervention.

Understanding and Changing Behaviour 1: Why does he do that?

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Start by addressing one behaviour at a time – the behaviour that you are most concerned about. Then you can begin gathering information, such as what happens right before the behaviour or things in the environment that may be a contributing factor. Doing this will help you to understand what purpose the behaviour serves for your child. This information is important as it will help you to plan for change.

Understanding and Changing Behaviour 2: Planning for change

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As you continue to observe your child you begin to develop a clearer understanding of what the purpose of the behaviour might be and you’re ready to make some changes. We’ve included information to help you encourage positive behaviour, create rules/social stories and provide positive reinforcement.

Changing your child’s behaviour takes time and patience. At times you may feel unsure or frustrated if you do not see the behaviour changing quickly. Remember that sometimes a child’s behaviour will get worse before it gets better. This is usually because you are introducing a new rule or expectation and your child has been used to doing it differently. Wait and see how he responds.


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A workshop to help parents and caregivers influence and manage behaviour.

Giving Instructions

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Kate Massey of K.I.D.S (Kids Included in Day Care and Early Childhood Services) shares some very practical strategies for helping your child to understand and follow through with requests.

Giving Instructions Workshop: Group Guide

Attention and Ignoring

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A workshop designed to take a look at using positive attention and ignoring at the right moments to help your child learn new skills and practice behaviour that will strengthen their relationship with you and others.

Prompting and Fading

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A workshop on teaching prompts and how to fade them when your child is ready

Task Analysis

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A workshop on teaching Task Analysis

Playing to Learn

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A workshop about using simple “play” to help develop and expand motor, language and social skills.

Sharing and Turn Taking

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A workshop on developing critical skills for life through play.

Context Stories

Here are two simple stories about behaviour problems you’ll likely recognize, and the sequence of of steps we took on our way to understanding the reasons underlying Wayne’s and Asha’s behaviour, and what we did to change it.

Teaching methods

Every child is an individual and you know your child better than anyone else. You have the the information needed to decide the schedule, teaching methods and reinforcements that will work best for your child and family.

Although this process can seem overwhelming at times it is also a great time to engage your child in new learning and social situations

Remember to be creative, you have many ideas which you can try to help your child change his behaviour. In this section you will find resources on reinforcement, giving instructions, and general strategies for dealing with problem behaviour.