Behaviour Therapy

  • The goal of behaviour therapy is to reduce behaviours of concern and to increase socially meaningful skills.
  • Behaviour therapy at TMB is based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis and is conducted by our highly experienced Board Certified Behaviour Analysts or our Behaviour Therapists.
  • TMB takes a positive approach to changing behaviour.  We work closely with you and your child to identify preferences, strengths and areas for development.  Where necessary, we will undertake a comprehensive functional behaviour assessment, which gives us a thorough understanding of the context and causes of behaviours of concern.  From this understanding, we can build plan that uses a strengths based, supportive approach to reduce behaviours of concern and build functional replacement skills.

How can you help my child have more positive behaviour?

At TMB, we have expertise and experience in applied behaviour analysis, which is the science of human behaviour and learning. All behaviour, desirable or undesirable, occurs for a reason, or many reasons. Through a process known as functional behaviour assessment, it is possible for us to better understand the ‘why’ of your child’s behaviours of concern. ABA enables us to help you to identify the cause of your child’s behaviours of concern and identify effective, positive strategies to overcomes these challenges.

What types of behaviours of concern are you able to help with?

Behaviors of concern can vary from person to person. Here are some of the behaviours of concerns we are able to address:

  • Emotion-regulation/Anger issues
  • Engaging with peers appropriately
  • Teasing or threatening verbal behaviour
  • Aggression or fighting with others
  • Disruptive behaviour
  • School refusal
  • Toileting issues
  • Self-injury/self-harm
  • Mealtime behaviour
  • Absconding
  • Difficulties with cooperation
  • Difficulties with self-advocacy and ‘overcompliance’

What happens in behaviour therapy?

  • Behaviours of concern are not the fault of the person. Behaviours of concern develop as a result of the interaction of a person and their environment.  They are learned and they are just as adaptive as any other skill.  The best way to reduce behaviours of concern is to 1) understand how they developed, and 2) alter the environment, such that behaviours of concern are reduced and helpful, functional behaviours are increased in their place.
  • Behaviours of concern are best addressed in partnership with those that spend the most time with the person. Therefore, we find that a caregiver/teacher coaching model is the most effective approach.
  • In some cases, 1:1 therapy may be recommended to coach your child in strategies to help them stay calm and safe.  If appropriate, we may also recommend your child attend our Secret Agent Society program which helps children to stay calm and safe when they are feeling angry or anxious.

I do have some concerns about my child’s behaviour, but I’m not sure if it’s just ‘normal’. What should I do?

  • There are many causes to behaviours of concern, and ‘problem behaviour’ is very normal in typically developing children. However, sometimes behaviour may become difficult to manage or may be having a significant impact on your child or on your family life.  This may be when it is time to seek some help.  This can have many causes and it is important to consider these at the outset of addressing these concerns.  Some of these causes are related to changes in the child’s environment:
    • Changes in routine
    • A new environment (e.g. moving house, starting school, changing schools)
    • Changes to home (e.g. death in the family, divorce, new baby)
  • Behaviours of concern can also indicate that your child is struggling with an additional challenge, for example:
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    • Anxiety
  • At TMB, we are unable to diagnose the above conditions. We recommend that you go to a suitable professional (e.g. paediatrician or clinical psychologist) to see clarification about whether your child may be experiencing the above conditions.  We would be happy to provide a list of professionals who may be able to assist with this.
  • In the meantime, it is possible to learn strategies to help your child, to keep family life happy, and to keep yourself sane!
    • TMB offers parent training through our Mission Control Parent Program. Mission Control helps you to understand why your child is engaging in these behaviours and assists you in creating a plan of action.
    • The Secret Agent Society Program can be a very helpful tool for you and your child in addressing a variety of behaviours of concern.
    • 1:1 behaviour therapy may also be a suitable option.
  • For behaviours of concern occurring at school, we are happy to discuss options for working with your child’s school to conduct an observation and provide a support plan and training with school staff.

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