Case Study 4

To begin with - Miss S presented aggressive behaviour towards staff: she would throw objects and drinks, hit, punch and shout when she was fed up or not interested in an activity. She seemed impatient and always wanted her way.  She had little understanding of appropriate behaviour and got agitated if she had to wait for things she wanted or if things were not going her way.

Staff started by building trust and then gradually worked with Miss S on her behaviour, focusing on being respectful, kind and helpful when working with other people at Skills Tank or being out in the community and at home.  They worked on strategies to stop tantrums through practicing meditations and drama based communication workshops.  Miss S was engaged in interactive group games which aimed at differentiating positive and negative behaviour, also, she practiced role plays and problem solving sessions.

Quite quickly - all these activities had a calming effect and Miss S started to present less aggressive and demanding behaviour.  She seemed to understand the behaviour rules at Skills Tank and started to accept and appreciate the staff, becoming more relaxed and much happier.

The staff noticed that Miss S liked to listen to music and to dance; hence they decided to use her interests as a coping strategy when she was agitated. Miss S began to have regular breaks which helped to diffuse her inappropriate behaviour and enabled her to calm down.  She was given an individual timetable to help her structure her daily routine and control her behavioural outbursts.

Now - Miss S likes the happy and positive atmosphere at Skills Tank. She is happy to participate in activities and likes to be around other people. Her favourite activities are going to the Sports Hall where she can practice her dancing and taking part in Beauty Sessions. Miss S has positively improved her behaviour in and outside Skills Tank.

Miss S is now actively participating in travel training and community participation programmes where she learns how to use public busses and goes out to local coffee shops.  Miss S attends weekly communication classes where she practices Makaton language and social skills such as: starting conversation, waiting, respecting others’ ideas, developing friendship and trust as well as listening skills.

She also participates in daily living skills where she learns about housekeeping, hygiene and personal care. Since she joined Skills Tank she’s made many friends and is able to concentrate on an activity for a longer period of time. Her behaviour has reduced and she is now able to go to public swimming pools and be in the community without having anger outbursts.

Please note: we change all names to protect the individual’s privacy.