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How to Reach and Teach Children with Challenging Behaviour Practical, Ready To Use Interventions That Work

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On-Site / Seminar


Children and young people with pervasive and persistent challenging behaviours test the skills of many teaching and helping professionals. The management strategies that are put in place around these young people can often end up reinforcing the problem behaviours rather than helping to improve them. This occurs because many of these young people have underlying skill deficits that need to be directly taught and strengthened to fluency. To break the cycle of problem-punish-problem-punish, a behaviour science approach is required, one that considers why the behaviour occurs and its possible function(s). 
In this practical workshop, a systematic approach based on the four foundational concepts of Instruction, Prevention, Reinforcement and Undesirable Consequences will be presented.  These foundational concepts and their accompanying strategies are applicable across all age ranges and professional settings offering anyone who interacts with people with challenging behaviour (teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents, etc.) evidence-based interventions to support and promote healthy behavioural, social and emotional development. 


Main topics that will be addressed include:

  • Direct instruction interventions for teaching the behavioural, social and emotional regulation skills needed to be successful in the 21st century. Including effective coping skills, problem solving, conflict resolution, and self-management.
  • Prevention techniques based on the potential antecedents to challenging behaviour and factors that contribute to its occurrence and maintenance.
  • Specific strategies for building positive relationships with students/clients and avoiding common pitfalls such as getting into power struggles and attempting to provide undesirable consequences that are not related, reasonable or respectful
  • De-escalation techniques that reduce unsafe or aggressive behaviour and therefore the use of controversial and coercive approaches such as isolation, seclusion, and restraint.
  • A template for a strength based, collaborative individualised support plan.
  • How behaviour science can provide a multi-tiered systems of support framework for other approaches such as Trauma Informed Care and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy.
  • Guidelines for working productively and in partnership with families and other helping professionals from different disciplines and theoretical frameworks.


Dr Kaye Otten is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst with a Doctorate in Special Education specialising in emotional, behavioural, and autism spectrum disorders, a M.Ed. in Special Education with an endorsement in behaviour disorders, and a B.A in Elementary Education and Child Development.  She serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Central Missouri and with The Mandt System, an international leader in crisis prevention and intervention.  Kaye has over twenty-five of experience in public and private schools as a general and special educator and consultant working with all ages.  Kaye is the co-founder of Camp Encourage, a not for profit organisation which provides one of the only overnight camps in the United States for children with autism spectrum disorders. She is the co-author of the incredibly popular How to Reach and Teach Children with Challenging Behaviour:  Practical Ready-To-Use Strategies that Work.
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Compass Seminars is New Zealand’s leading professional development training provider for professionals who work with Children, Young People and Families. Compass delivers more training, in more New Zealand cities, than anyone else in the industry.
Compass Seminars
New Zealand
06 759 1647
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