Behaviour, and especially ‘unacceptable’ behaviour, is often the first and sometimes the only feedback we receive from others. It is easy to rapidly pigeon-hole someone and label the person as ‘difficult’, ‘aggressive’, ‘unpredictable’, ‘unreliable’ or even ‘impossible’. This totally by-passes the underlying causes of behaviour and often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Behaviour is an external expression of an internal reality
Behaviour invariably is the external expression of an internal reality for that person at that point in time. Often the internal reality is so strong, that the person feels he or she has no other option but to behave in a particular way. If this behaviour is unacceptable to others, or ‘not the norm’ in society, than exclusion in some form or another is often the end result. This isolates the person and often re-enforces the underlying causes that created the internal reality. Breaking through this vicious circle is essential in order to achieve positive change.
In the first instance you often can get a reasonable evaluation of what may be lying behind behaviour by simple observations you can make yourself. These can play a key role in uncovering what may lie behind learning, sensory, developmental or emotional difficulties.
Here we outline some typical observations related to behaviour:
- Is very active
- Is very passive
- Is very demanding
- Has poor sleeping patterns
- Regularly wets the bed
- Is a picky eater
- Has a poor diet
- Has poor social interactions with peers
- Withdraws from eye contact
- Is overly emotional
- Is sad, low or depressed
- Does not display any emotions
- Is frustrated or angry
- Expresses ‘unacceptable’ behaviour
- Is oppositional or defiant
- Tries to shock people
- Is aggressive towards others
Typical observations on their own may not be meaningful. However, where there is a cluster of indicators, possibly across a number of senses, and the person has learning, sensory, developmental or emotional difficulties, these can indicate that one or more of the senses are out of balance.