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No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming How to Make Behaving Positively Possible for People with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

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Book - No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming How to Make Behaving Positively Possible for People with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

by: Bo Hejlskov Elven

About the author:

Bo Hejlskov Elven is a Clinical Psychologist based in Sweden. He is an independent consultant and lecturer on autism and challenging behaviour, and an accredited Studio III trainer. In 2009, he was awarded the Puzzle Piece of the Year prize by the Swedish Autism Society for his lecturing and counselling on challenging behaviour.

ISBN: 978-1-84905-126-2

Year: 2010

Publication Info: 240pp


Fighting, biting, screaming and other behaviours that challenge the people dealing with them are often triggered by unsuitable surroundings or unrealistic demands. In this fresh and effective approach, Bo Hejlskov Elven shows how identifying and adapting these problem areas can dramatically improve behaviour in people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

This practical book explains how to reassess difficult situations and offers easy and effective strategies for eliciting positive responses without resorting to restraint and punishment. Based on the successful low-arousal approach, it is a proven method of stepping away from distress and towards calm, improving the quality of life of everyone involved. Helpful examples covering a wide range of developmental disabilities from autism to Down’s Syndrome illustrate the positive changes that can be achieved.

This empowering book will be invaluable to anyone attempting to deal with unproductive behaviour in individuals with developmental disabilities, whether at home or in a professional environment.



Introduction. 1. Challenging Behaviours: Definitions and Theories. What is challenging behaviour? Dangerous behaviour? Or just difficut? Throwing the blame on somebody else. History: Theories and therapies. A new outlook. Background to our conceptions. Summary. 2. Conceptions and Misconceptions. The importance of self-control. Methods for changing behaviour. Consequence and structure. Conceptions of the causes of behaviour. Summary. 3. Adjustment of Demands. Methods of adjusting demands. Ability to respond to demands. Summary. 4. Stress Factors: A Model for Explaining Chaos. The effects of stress. Basic stress factors. Situational stress factors. Warning signs. Signs of chaos. Protective or calming factors. Summary. 5. When Conflict Happens: Keeping it Calm. Theories of affect and emotion contagion. The low-arousal approach. Creating diversions. Confrontation or intervention? Conflict -seeking service-users. Summary. 6. Looking to the Future. Fundamental principles. Leaving the past behind. References. Index.



Elven writes with the compassion and clarity that come from years of working with service-users and their caregivers. He knows his subject very well and can communicate both the theory behind his ideas and their practical application. Examples are plentiful, and include not only stories about service-users but more subtle ones that center on people without developmental difficulties. Elven often uses himself as an example of how healthy people can still react badly to adverse conditions. We all have ways in which we struggle, and when the parallels are pointed out between people who do and who do not have developmental disabilities; it’s easier to reach understanding and to maintain professional compassion. Life with a service-user sometimes seems like an endless confrontation. Elven shows that with a few changes and a different way of understanding, a better quality of life may be obtained for all.


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