Sometimes children may behave in ways that could place the child or others at risk of harm or danger. This could involve physical actions (e.g., pushing another child, damaging equipment), the way that a child interacts with others (e.g., shouting, saying unkind things), or difficulty engaging a child in dance activities (e.g., not listening to the teacher or following instructions, children running away).
Behaviour always serves a purpose. It is a means of communicating what someone is feeling, a need or a want that is not being met. Things that might increase the likelihood of these behaviours include communication, social and cognitive challenges, and feeling anxious or scared.
There is usually a response to or consequence of behaviour which might inadvertently reward it and make it likely to occur again.
For example a child might be sent off to help with the music which they like to do. ‘Time out’ or sitting quietly may be a more appropriate behavioural strategy.
Behavioural concerns are often a sign of a different underlying area of challenge, such as understanding instructions, paying attention, or regulating emotions. See the tips for Cognition, Communication, Attention, and Anxiety for more information about these areas. It is important to speak to a parent if you have behaviour concerns – they know their child best and may be able to help understand triggers for the behaviour of concern and what strategies work. See the ‘How to’ page for tips on how to tell a parent you have a concern about their child’s behaviour.