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Monday > Friday: 5am > 5pm
Saturday: 9am > 1pm
Sunday: Closed
Latest News
 

Information

We are a specialist children's and young persons organisation, dedicated to - supporting life changes and improving life chances - for young people who have a combination of complex needs

Information

Core Values With 10 Key Elements

We support children and young people with a range of different abilities and challenges – to lead a colourful life. To find out more about some of the challenges and therapeutic support we offer our children and young people, click a subject at the bottom of this page for more details.

Autism

Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that, while all people with Autism share common difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways and to varying degrees.

Learning Disability

A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. Around 1.5m people in the UK have a learning disability.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory processing (originally called “sensory integration dysfunction” or SID) refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioural responses.

Social Difficulties

Communication is not just about what people say to each other with words. It’s also about the meanings people put into their faces, their tone of voice and the movements they make with their bodies to help explain things to others.

Attachment Difficulties

Attachment is the deep connection established between a child and caregiver that profoundly affects your child’s development and ability to express emotions and develop relationships.

Challenging Behaviour

Challenging behaviour used to be called ‘problem behaviour’, ‘difficult behaviour’ or ‘socially unacceptable behaviour’. It means that behaviours are a challenge to professionals, teachers, carers and families.

Additional Difficulties

In addition to the above a lot of our children and young people have a range of different needs ranging from health needs eg epilepsy to emotional needs eg low self esteem for further information please contact us.

Click Each Subject Below To Find Out Detailed Information

Autism

About Autism

Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that, while all people with Autism share common difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways and to varying degrees.

 

Resilience is a specialist children’s and young people’s organisation who pride our services on providing the highest level of expertise to support life changes and improve life chances for young people who have autism.

 

You cannot always tell that someone has autism just by looking at them. Because of this autism is sometimes called a hidden disability. Autism lasts for all of a person’s life. Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder often benefit greatly from specialist support, to learn and develop life skills.

What Causes Autism?

No one knows why people have Autism. We do know that Autism is not caused by bad parenting or bad relationships. More than 1 person in a family may have Autism. It can be genetic. This means Autism can pass from parents to their children.

 

Autism affects the way a young person communicates, behaves and interacts with other people and the world around them.

 

  • Some people with Autism find it difficult to communicate, to tell people what they need, and how they feel
  • Some find it difficult to have relationships, meet people and make new friends
  • Some find it difficult to understand what other people think, and how they feel
  • Some find lack of structure and changes to routines difficult

Not everyone with Autism will find these things difficult. Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that, while all people with Autism share common difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways and to varying degrees

 

Some people with Autism are able to live independent lives; others may have a learning disability which affects their development; a learning difficulty eg dyslexia; or be affected by emotional and behavioural challenges; often people with autism have sensory difficulties eg. sensitive to noise or light. – For these reasons many young people with Autism need specialist support to enable them to lead a quality lifestyle, progress to their full potential and achieve their goals.

Environment

We understand how important a positive environment and a homely atmosphere is for young people. This is why each of our young people will have a spacious, comfortable, adapted bedroom with en suite options which they will be encouraged to personalise.

All of our homes have homely, sensory aware, social and living spaces which are adapted to meet our young people’s needs. These spaces are fully accessible including a kitchen (with adaptations to meet the young people’s needs), spacious lounge, multipurpose activity room, sensory room, dining room, laundry area and a large accessible, enclosed safe garden with a mixture of patio areas and grass to support the development of leisure, relaxation and social activities.

Education

We believe through receiving the right support at the right time, all young people have the ability to learn and achieve. Many of our young people have a history of placement breakdowns and difficulties at school. Many of our young people need us to provide additional support at school or college, support to get back into education or alternative education provision.

 

In addition to educational support, we work with each young person and their family, to establish a learning plan that includes personal skills, life skills, problem solving skills and social skills.

 

WE ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO CELEBRATING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE’S ACHIEVEMENTS WTH THEM.

Therapeutic Services

Our combined years of experience and research have enabled us to create 10 key elements to the specialist services we offer throughout Resilience’s residential and community services. You can find out more about each of these key elements on our website or by contacting us.

  

These include structured timetables; communication strategies; positive behaviour plans; adapted learning and living spaces, to help reduce anxieties and promote independence; stimulating environments; proactive strategies to help the young people develop skills, to change and manage their own behaviour; an active lifestyle that the young person enjoys, which can also reduce stress and help decrease some of the stereotypical and repetitive behaviours associated with Autism.

Learning Disability

Children & Young Persons - Learning Disabilities

A learning disability is not the same as a learning difficulty (eg dyslexia) or a mental illness (eg depression or an emotional behavioural disorder)

  

Resilience is dedicated to providing the highest level of expertise to support and improve life chances for young people and children with a learning disability.

Learning Disability (LD)

A learning disability is a lifelong condition which affects the way a person learns new things in any area of life, not just at school.

 

A learning disability affects the way a person understands information and how they communicate. Around 1.5m people in the UK have are learning disabled.

 

This means they can have difficulty:

 

  • understanding new or complex information
  • learning new skills
  • coping independently

 

A learning disability can be mild, moderate or severe. Some people with a mild learning disability can talk easily and look after themselves, but take a bit longer than usual to learn new skills. Others may not be able to communicate at all and have more than one disability (Profound and multiple learning disability)

 

Some children with learning disabilities grow up to be independent and need occasional support, while others need help with everyday tasks, such as washing or getting dressed, for their whole lives. It depends on their abilities.

 

Children and young people with a learning disability are often diagnosed as having special educational needs.

 

Some conditions are associated with having a learning disability. This is because people with these conditions are more likely to have one. Everyone with Down’s syndrome, for example, has some kind of learning disability, and so do many people with cerebral palsy. People with autism may also have learning disabilities, and around 30% of people with epilepsy have a learning disability.

Environment

We understand how important a positive environment and a homely atmosphere is for young people.

 

Each of our young people will have a comfortable, adapted bedroom with en suite which they will be encouraged to personalise.

  

Each home will have homely, sensory aware, social and living spaces; which are adapted to meet the young people’s needs. These spaces will be fully accessible including a kitchen (with adaptations to meet the young people’s needs), spacious lounge, multipurpose activity room, sensory room, dining room, laundry area and a large accessible, enclosed safe garden with a mixture of patio areas and grass to support the development of leisure, relaxation and social activities.

Education

We believe through receiving the right support at the right time, all young people have the ability to learn and achieve.

 

Many of our young people have a history of placement breakdowns and difficulties at school. Many of our young people need us to provide additional support at school or college; support to get back into education or alternative education provision.

 

In addition to educational support, we work with each young person and their family, to establish a learning plan that includes personal skills; life skills; problem solving skills and social skills.

 

– WE ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO CELEBRATING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE’S ACHIEVEMENTS WITH THEM.

Therapeutic Services

Our LD Services use a number of person-centred approaches and methodologies.

 

These include structured timetables; communication strategies; positive behaviour plans; adapted learning and living spaces, to help reduce anxieties and promote independence; stimulating environments; proactive strategies to help the young people develop skills, to change and manage their own behaviour; an active lifestyle that the young person enjoys, which can also reduce stress and help decrease some of the stereotypical and repetitive behaviours associated with LD.

 

In addition to our residential services we aim to work effectively with our young people and their families to provide a positive, meaningful, community based service for our young people.

Sensory Processing Disorder

About Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD)

The exact cause of Sensory Processing Disorder–like the causes of ADHD and so many other neurodevelopmental disorders–has not yet been identified.

 

Sensory processing (originally called “sensory integration dysfunction” or SID) refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioural responses. Whether you are biting into a sandwich, riding a bicycle, or reading a book, putting on clothing, or just brushing your teeth, your successful completion of the activity requires accurate processing of sensation.

 

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), exists when sensory signals are either not detected or don’t get organised into appropriate responses. A person with SPD finds it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which creates challenges in performing countless everyday tasks. Motor clumsiness, behavioural problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, difficulties with relationships, personal hygiene task and many other problems that may impact those who do not have effective treatment.

 

Studies suggest that 1 in every 6 children with SPD experiences sensory symptoms that may be significant enough to significantly negatively affect aspects of everyday life.

 

Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder, like those of most disorders, occur within a broad spectrum of severity. While most of us have occasional difficulties processing sensory information, for children, young people and adults with SPD, these difficulties are chronic, and they can significantly disrupt everyday life.

What Sensory Processing Disorder Looks Like

Sensory Processing Disorder can affect people in only one sense–for example, just touch or just sight or just movement–or in multiple senses. One person with SPD may over-respond to touch sensation and find clothing, physical contact, other tactile sensory input to be unbearable and/or they may respond to visual or auditory or another sensory input.  Another person might under-respond and show little or no reaction to stimulation, even pain or extreme hot and cold or just may be slow to respond to sensation.

Support For SPD

Without the correct interventions young people can struggle for most of their lives, they may also experience limited lifestyles, underachievement, social difficulties, difficulty with every day tasks, social isolation, depression and/or other secondary effects.

 

Sadly, misdiagnoses is not rare because many health care professionals are not trained to recognise sensory issues. Children have been known to be misdiagnosed – and inappropriately medicated – for ADHD and associated disorders.

 

Resiliences approach and support for young people with Sensory Processing Disorders is based on the challenge or difficulty that is presenting itself. We developing a bespoke plan of support combined with bespoke coping strategies with the aim of development of self regulation and preventing a person limiting their lifestyle options eg this could be in the form of a behaviour plan or a sensory diet

Social Difficulties

Social and Communication Difficulties

Like other children, every child with social and communication difficulties will be different. All children have their own looks, their own personalities and their own likes and dislikes. This information aims to explain what social and communication difficulties are and give examples of the sort of problems all these different children might have. You will perhaps recognise some of them in young people you know.

 

You cannot tell that someone has social and communication difficulties by the way that they look, but you may recognise someone you know through the difficulties that are described.

 

The majority of children with social and communication difficulties – have problems with getting on with other people and understanding what other people mean.

What Are Social Difficulties?

Children and young people with social difficulties may have difficulty with:

 

  • Getting on with other people,making and keeping friends and joining in with groups of children. Taking turns – this might be taking turns in a game, or it could be two people taking turns to say things to each other, as you do in a conversation.

 

  • Knowing when to look you in the eyes, which is something most of know how to do without thinking when we talk to each other. This is called “eye contact”. When people look away it can be hard for us to be sure whether or not they are listening.

 

  • Understanding what other people are thinking or feeling. We call this a problem with empathy – not being able to see things from someone else’s point of view. So children with social difficulties may sometimes seem selfish or uncaring, or they may say or do things that are out of place. For example, they may talk in a very loud voice to someone standing close to them or keep talking about an interest of theirs, to someone they don’t know, talk rudely about someone’s appearance or yawn widely when someone else is talking.

What Are Communication Difficulties?

Communication is not just about what people say to each other with words. It’s also about the meanings people put into their faces, their tone of voice and the movements they make with their bodies to help explain things to others. So communication is about using all these things as well as words.

 

  • Children with communication difficulties may find it hard to understand some of the things you say and you may find that you have to simplify some of your conversations with them. You may have to repeat yourself

 

  • What they say may not always make sense to you either. They may find it difficult to put their thoughts into words, or they may not always give you enough information for you to follow what they are talking about. At other times though, they may say too much.

 

  • They may find if hard to understand the meaning you put into your voice (for example the “tone” of your voice). They may find it difficult to put meaning into their own voices too.

 

  • They may find it difficult to understand the messages we give to each other without speaking – our body messages, like the expressions we have on our faces, or when we make gestures like waving, pointing or shrugging our shoulders. They may find it hard to give their own body messages too.

 

Children with communication difficulties may need help and support because of these problems, so that they can concentrate and learn. They do need help and understanding from everyone.

Is It To Do With The Brain?

It seems that the brain of some children with social and communication difficulties might work in a slightly different way from other people’s brains. Just because some children’s brains may work slightly differently from other people’s this does not mean that they have a learning disability. Far from it… They may be very good at drawing, computing, remembering things, spelling, collecting or something else. Some children with social and communication difficulties are in fact very bright.

Why Does He/She Want To Be Alone Alot?

Children who don’t find social and communication skills easy – often have difficulties that make it hard for them to cope with others at times. They may need their own space to relax. They may also have interests that don’t include other people and be happy doing these for a long time. It doesn’t mean they never want to be with other people – it just means they may need more space and time to themselves than others do.

Why Does He/She Laugh When I'm Upset?

Children with social and communication difficulties find it hard to understand other people’s feelings. It is difficult for them to see things from other people’s points of view. So when someone gets upset they may find this confusing and don’t know how to behave. It doesn’t mean that they want to emotionally ‘hurt’ them. It may seem like that, and it may be hard not to feel hurt sometimes.

 

Try and remind yourself that it happens because of their problems with empathy. If you try and see the point of view of a person with social and communication difficulties you will be using empathy yourself – and you will realise that not having empathy is a very serious problem.

Why Does He/She Ignore Me Sometimes?

Children with social and communication difficulties find it hard to understand other people’s feelings. It is difficult for them to see things from other people’s points of view. So when someone gets upset they may find this confusing and don’t know how to behave. It doesn’t mean that they want to emotionally ‘hurt’ them. It may seem like that, and it may be hard not to feel hurt sometimes.

 

Try and remind yourself that it happens because of their problems with empathy. If you try and see the point of view of a person with social and communication difficulties you will be using empathy yourself – and you will realise that not having empathy is a very serious problem.

Why Does He/She Hurt People Sometimes?

Children with social and communication difficulties can become very frustrated when they do not understand situations. Sometimes they may hit out.

 

Some children with social and communication difficulties have difficulty understanding what other people are feeling. They may not understand that they hurt other people (or how much they hurt other people) when they hit them.

Why Does He/She Name Call Me Or Try To Wind Me Up?

Children with social and communication difficulties may have problems understanding what you are thinking and how you feel. They may not understand how hurtful the things they say to you are, but they see that they get you ‘excited’ so they keep on saying them.

What Is It Like For Children With Social And Communication Difficulties?

These are some ways some people have described children and young people they knew:

 

  • “He finds things confusing sometimes.”
  • “She finds it frustrating.”
  • “He finds it hard to have conversations and make friends.”
  • “She doesn’t always know, like we do, how we should behave.”
  • “He wants to be friendly, but the only way he knows how is to talk about something that he’s interested in.”

What Can You Do To Help And Support?

It would help if you:

 

  • encourage him/her to join in
  • start a conversation with him/her
  • ask different questions
  • be patient
  • let him/her see that you’re“friendly”
  • forgive him/her quickly when s/he says or does something unkind, understanding that s/he may not understand what s/he has done wrong
Attachment Difficulties

Signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder

Attachment is the deep connection established between a child and caregiver that profoundly affects your child’s development and ability to express emotions and develop relationships. If you are the parent of a child with an attachment disorder, you may be exhausted from trying to connect with your child. A child with insecure attachment or an attachment disorder lacks the skills for building meaningful relationships. However, with effective strategies and a healthy dose of effort, patience, and love, it is possible repair attachment challenges.

Understanding attachment problems and disorders

Children with attachment disorders or other attachment problems have difficulty connecting to others and managing their own emotions. This results in a lack of trust and self-worth, a fear of getting close to anyone, anger, and a need to be in control. A child with an attachment disorder often feels unsafe and alone.

So why do some children develop attachment disorders while others don’t? The answer has to do with the attachment process, which relies on the interaction of both parent and child.

Attachment disorders are the result of negative experiences in this early relationship. If young children feel repeatedly abandoned, isolated, powerless, or uncared for—for whatever reason—they will learn that they can’t depend on others and the world is a dangerous and frightening place.

What causes reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems?

Reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems occur when children have been unable to consistently connect with a parent or primary caregiver. This can happen for many reasons:

  • A baby cries and no one responds or offers comfort
  • A baby is hungry or wet, and they aren’t attended to for hours
  • No one looks at, talks to, or smiles at the baby, so the baby feels alone
  • A young child gets attention only by acting out or displaying other extreme behaviours
  • A young child or baby is mistreated or abused
  • Sometimes the child’s needs are met and sometimes they aren’t. The child never knows what to expect.
  • The infant or young child is hospitalised or separated from his or her parents.
  • A baby or young child is moved from one caregiver to another (can be the result of adoption, foster care, or the loss of a parent).
  • The parent is emotionally unavailable because of depression, an illness, or a substance abuse problem.

As the examples show, sometimes the circumstances that cause the attachment problems are unavoidable, but the child is too young to understand what has happened and why. To a young child, it just feels like no one cares and they lose trust in others and the world becomes an unsafe place.

Early warning signs and symptoms of insecure attachment
Attachment problems fall on a spectrum, from mild problems that are easily addressed to the most serious form, known as reactive attachment disorder (RAD).

Although it is never too late to treat and repair attachment difficulties such as reactive attachment disorder, the earlier you spot the symptoms of insecure attachment and take steps to repair them, the better. With early detection and support you can avoid a more serious problem.

Reactive Disorders

Attachment is the deep connection established between a child and caregiver that profoundly affects your child’s development and ability to express emotions and develop relationships. If you are the parent of a child with an attachment disorder, you may be exhausted from trying to connect with your child. A child with insecure attachment or an attachment disorder lacks the skills for building meaningful relationships. However, with effective strategies and a healthy dose of effort, patience, and love, it is possible repair attachment challenges.

Understanding attachment problems and disorders

Children with attachment disorders or other attachment problems have difficulty connecting to others and managing their own emotions. This results in a lack of trust and self-worth, a fear of getting close to anyone, anger, and a need to be in control. A child with an attachment disorder often feels unsafe and alone.

So why do some children develop attachment disorders while others don’t? The answer has to do with the attachment process, which relies on the interaction of both parent and child.

Attachment disorders are the result of negative experiences in this early relationship. If young children feel repeatedly abandoned, isolated, powerless, or uncared for—for whatever reason—they will learn that they can’t depend on others and the world is a dangerous and frightening place.

What causes reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems?

Reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems occur when children have been unable to consistently connect with a parent or primary caregiver. This can happen for many reasons:

  • A baby cries and no one responds or offers comfort
  • A baby is hungry or wet, and they aren’t attended to for hours
  • No one looks at, talks to, or smiles at the baby, so the baby feels alone
  • A young child gets attention only by acting out or displaying other extreme behaviours
  • A young child or baby is mistreated or abused
  • Sometimes the child’s needs are met and sometimes they aren’t. The child never knows what to expect.
  • The infant or young child is hospitalised or separated from his or her parents.
  • A baby or young child is moved from one caregiver to another (can be the result of adoption, foster care, or the loss of a parent).
  • The parent is emotionally unavailable because of depression, an illness, or a substance abuse problem.

As the examples show, sometimes the circumstances that cause the attachment problems are unavoidable, but the child is too young to understand what has happened and why. To a young child, it just feels like no one cares and they lose trust in others and the world becomes an unsafe place.

Early warning signs and symptoms of insecure attachment
Attachment problems fall on a spectrum, from mild problems that are easily addressed to the most serious form, known as reactive attachment disorder (RAD).

Although it is never too late to treat and repair attachment difficulties such as reactive attachment disorder, the earlier you spot the symptoms of insecure attachment and take steps to repair them, the better. With early detection and support you can avoid a more serious problem.

Signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder

Children with reactive attachment disorder have been so disrupted in early life that their future relationships are also impaired. They have difficulty relating to others and are often developmentally delayed. Reactive attachment disorder is common in children who have been abused, bounced around in foster care, or taken away from their primary caregiver after establishing a bond.

Common signs and symptoms of reactive attachment disorder:

An aversion to touch and physical affection. Children with reactive attachment disorder often flinch, laugh, or even say “Ouch” when touched. Rather than producing positive feelings, touch and affection are perceived as a threat.

Control issues. Most children with reactive attachment disorder go to great lengths to remain in control and avoid feeling helpless. They are often disobedient, defiant, and argumentative.

Anger problems. Anger may be expressed directly, in tantrums or acting out, or through manipulative, passive-aggressive behaviour. Children with reactive attachment disorder may hide their anger in socially acceptable actions, like giving a high five that hurts or hugging someone too hard.

Difficulty showing genuine care and affection. For example, children with reactive attachment disorder may act inappropriately affectionate with strangers while displaying little or no affection towards their parents.

An underdeveloped conscience. Children with reactive attachment disorder may act like they don’t have a conscience and fail to show guilt, regret, or remorse after behaving badly.

Inhibited reactive attachment disorder vs. disinhibited reactive attachment disorder

As children with reactive attachment disorder grow older, they often develop either an inhibited or a disinhibited pattern of symptoms:

Inhibited symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. The child is extremely withdrawn, emotionally detached, and resistant to comforting. The child is aware of what’s going on around him or her—hyper-vigilant even—but doesn’t react or respond. He or she may push others away, ignore them, or even act out in aggression when others try to get close.

Disinhibited symptoms of reactive attachment disorder. The child doesn’t seem to prefer his or her parents over other people, even strangers. The child seeks comfort and attention from virtually anyone, without distinction. He or she is extremely dependent, acts much younger than his or her age, and may appear chronically anxious.

Supporting a child with reactive attachment disorder or insecure attachment

With time, patience, and concerted effort, attachment disorders can be repaired. The key is to remain calm, yet firm as you interact with the child or young person. This will teach the that they are safe and can trust you.

A child with an attachment disorder is already experiencing a great deal of stress, so it is imperative that you evaluate and manage your own stress levels while supporting a child with attachment issues.

Have realistic expectations. Supporting a child with an attachment disorder may be a long road. Focus on making small steps forward and celebrate every sign of success.

Patience is essential. The process may not be as rapid as you’d like, and you can expect bumps along the way. But by remaining patient and focusing on small improvements, you create an atmosphere of safety for the child.

Foster a sense of humour and joy. Joy and humour go a long way toward repairing attachment problems and will also energising you as you support the young person. Find at least a couple of people or activities that help you laugh and feel good.

Take care of yourself and manage stress. Reduce other demands on your time.

Find support and ask for help.

Support each other. Support can come in a range of options including formal and informal support – this can be for advise, or to listen, or to ensure you provide a consistent approach. This can include colleagues, friends, families, community resources, and making the most of any time that the young person has alternative care and support to plan and to re charge batteries.

Try to ask for help before you really need it to avoid getting stressed to breaking point.

Stay positive and hopeful. Be sensitive to the fact that children will pick up on feelings. If they sense you’re discouraged, it will be discouraging to them. When you are feeling down or negative, turn to others for reassurance.

Tips for making a child feel safe and secure

Safety is the core issue for children with reactive attachment disorder and other attachment problems. They are distant and distrustful because they feel unsafe in the world. They keep their guard up to protect themselves, but it also prevents them from accepting love and support. So before anything else, it is essential to build up a child’s sense of security. You can accomplish this by establishing clear expectations and rules of behaviour, and by responding consistently so that the child knows what to expect when he or she acts a certain way and—even more importantly—knows that no matter what happens, you can be counted on.

Set limits and boundaries. Consistent, loving boundaries make the world seem more predictable and less scary to children with attachment difficulties. It’s important that they understand what behaviour is expected of them, what is and isn’t acceptable, and what the consequences will be if they disregard the rules. This also teaches them that they have more control over what happens to them than they think.

Take charge, yet remain calm when the child or young person is upset or misbehaving. Remember that inappropriate behaviour means that the child doesn’t know how to handle what he or she is feeling and needs your support. By staying calm, you show the child that the feeling is manageable. If he or she is being purposefully defiant, follow through with the pre-established consequences in a cool, matter-of-fact manner. Remember to never discipline a child with an attachment disorder when you’re in an emotionally-charged state. This makes the child feel more unsafe and may reinforce the inappropriate behaviour, since it’s clear it pushes your buttons.

Be immediately available to reconnect following a conflict. Conflict can be especially disturbing for children with insecure attachment or attachment disorders. After a conflict or tantrum where you’ve had to discipline a child, be ready to reconnect as soon as he or she is ready. This reinforces your consistency and love, and will help the child develop a trust that you’ll be there through thick and thin.

Own up to mistakes and initiate repair. When you let frustration or anger get the best of you or you do something you realise is insensitive, quickly address the mistake. Your willingness to take responsibility and make amends can strengthen the attachment bond. Children with reactive attachment disorder or other attachment problems need to learn that although you may not be perfect, they will be loved, no matter what.

Try to maintain predictable routines and schedules. A child with an attachment disorder won’t instinctively rely on loved ones, and may feel threatened by transition and inconsistency—for example when traveling or during school holidays. A familiar routine or schedule can provide comfort during times of change.

Repairing insecure attachment by helping a a child feel loved – A child who has not bonded early in life will have a hard time accepting love, especially physical expressions of love. But you can help them learn to accept your love with time, consistency, and repetition. Trust and security come from seeing loving actions, hearing reassuring words, and feeling comforted over and over again.

If possible and appropriate, show a child love through rocking, cuddling, and holding—attachment experiences he or she missed out on earlier; or a young person age appropriate love and respect by a pat on the shoulder when they gave done well, or a shoulder to cry on when things haven’t gone well. But always be respectful of what feels comfortable and is appropriate for the child or young person. In cases of previous abuse and trauma, you may have to go very slowly because the child may be very resistant to any physical touch at all even shaking hands or holding a hand may be too much.

Respond to a child’s emotional age. Children with attachment disorders often act like younger children, both socially and emotionally. You may need to plan, support and respond to them as though they were much younger.

Help a child identify emotions and express his or her needs. Children with attachment disorders may not know what they are feeling or how to ask for what they need. Reinforce the idea that all feelings are okay and role model or teach them healthy ways to express their emotions.

Listen, talk, and play with the child or young person. Carve out times when you’re able to give the child or young person your full, focused attention in ways that feel comfortable to him or her. It may seem hard to drop everything, eliminate distractions, and just be in the moment, but quality time together provides a great opportunity for any child or young person to open up to you and benefit from your focused attention.

Tips for supporting a child with AD's health

Treatment for reactive attachment disorder usually involves a combination of therapy, counselling, and parenting education, designed to ensure the child has a safe living environment, develops positive interactions with caregivers, and improves peer relationships.

While medication may be used to treat associated conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or hyperactivity, there is no quick fix for treating reactive attachment disorder. The best treatment is a bespoke plan based on the child or your persons challenges and difficulties.

Types of treatment for reactive attachment disorder

A child’s eating, sleep, and exercise habits are always important, but they’re even more so in kids with attachment problems. Healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way in reducing your child’s stress levels and levelling out mood swings. When children with attachment disorders are relaxed, well-rested, and feeling good, it will be much easier for them to handle life’s challenges.

Diet – Make sure a child or young person with AD eats a diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Be sure to skip too much sugar and add plenty of good fats – like fish, flax seed, avocados, and olive oil—for optimal brain health.

Sleep – If any child is tired during the day, it will be that much harder for them to focus on learning new things. Make their sleep schedule (bedtime and wake time) consistent.

Exercise – Exercise or any type of physical activity can be a great antidote to stress, frustration, and pent-up emotion, triggering endorphins to make a child or young person feel good. Physical activity is especially important for the angry child. If your child isn’t naturally active, try some different classes or sports to help them find something that is appealing.

Any one of these things—food, rest, and exercise—can make the difference between a good and a challenging day with a child who has an attachment disorder. These basics will help ensure your child’s brain is healthy and ready to connect.

Professional treatment for reactive attachment disorder
Extra support can make a dramatic and positive change in your child’s life, and the earlier you seek help, the better.

Challenging Behaviour

What is challenging behaviour?

Challenging behaviour used to be called ‘problem behaviour’, ‘difficult behaviour’ or ‘socially unacceptable behaviour’. It means that behaviours are a challenge to professionals, teachers, carers and families.

 

A young person with challenging behaviour is not a ‘problem’ to be fixed and is not doing something ‘wrong’. But behaviour is a sign that something isn’t working. It shows that there is some unfulfilled need or a problem with communication.

 

Behaviour is challenging if it causes harm or if it stops people fulfilling some aspect of their lives, such as:

 

  • Someone cannot go to school because they show some aggressive behaviour.
  • Someone cannot go swimming because they tend to run off.

 

It is the impact of these behaviours that makes them challenging. Challenging behaviour can be:

 

  • Self-injurious: Head-banging, scratching, pulling, eye poking, picking, grinding teeth, eating things that aren’t food.
  • Aggressive: Biting and scratching, hitting, pinching, grabbing, hair pulling, throwing objects, verbal abuse, screaming, spitting.
  • Stereotyped: Repetitive movements, rocking, repetitive speech and repetitive manipulation of objects.
  • Non-person directed: Damage to property, hyperactivity, stealing, inappropriate sexualised behaviour, destruction of clothing, incontinence, lack of awareness of danger, withdrawal.

Disability and challenging behaviour

Challenging behaviour is more likely if a person is disabled. A mix of impairments, environment and interpersonal relationships make it more likely that a disabled person may develop a behaviour to meet their needs.

 

For example, someone with autism may learn that hitting people takes them out of their personal space. Remember, each behaviour has a function for the person displaying it.

Mental health, challenging behaviour and disability

Young people with learning and additional difficulties may have the same mental health and emotional difficulties that others do. But they may be less well equipped to deal with them. It can be difficult to deal with anxiety if you do not have the words to describe what you are experiencing. It can be difficult to cope with depression if you do not have the social support to help you.

 

Sometimes challenging behaviour can be a sign of a wider problem with someone’s mental health. Refusal to eat may be a sign that the person is feeling down, or aggressive behaviour could be a sign of high anxiety. It’s important to see the problem from the perspective of the person showing the behaviour.

Supporting Young People with Challenging Behaviour

There are few golden rules in supporting young people who display challenging behaviour.

 

  • One is that happy people tend not to challenge. Find out what makes the person happy and make it happen more in their life, then you may find that the behaviour starts to disappear.
  • Challenging behaviour is often seen in people with learning disability and other types of impairment. This behaviour represents a challenge to us to address something that is not working in that person’s life.
  • It’s reasonable to expect that with comprehensive assessment, appropriate levels of stimulation, communication techniques, carer support and consistency, encouragement and teaching of new coping skills, behaviour can be managed effectively.
  • It’s important to set realistic goals for the individual and aim to increase the person’s quality of life and minimise the impact of the behaviours displayed

For more help or advice with any of the services we offer please get in touch.