All behaviour serves a purpose, and so, communicates a message. Understanding this can be useful in situations that otherwise leave partners, carers and family members feeling powerless, frustrated and angry. Instead of reacting negatively to challenging behaviour it is better to look for the underlying message. This helps the person with the behaviour and empowers those who care for them.
A complex or challenging behaviour usually communicates:
- an unmet need, e.g. emotional or physical discomfort
- an expression of mood, such as sadness, anger or frustration
- a response to stimulation, whether it is too little, e.g. boredom, or too much, e.g. a noisy crowd.