The Developing Vision

We are now over a year into the Early Intervention Project.  So, what have we done, and what have we learnt so far?

We have been looking at what works and what doesn’t work for children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge.  Families and those working in this field will not be surprised that the research evidence shows a huge lack of support for children and their families.  This can lead to crisis point.  Where services are offered research shows they are often not effective in improving the quality of life for children and families. This needs to change.

The project has been working hard to improve understanding of the need for support as soon as behaviours that challenge occur (or before that if it is known that a child may be at risk).  We are pleased that these messages are being heard and that some of the groups responsible for driving forward national policy have agreed to increase their focus on children, young people and their families.


Year 2 Evaluation

Click here to read the Evaluation Report after year 2 of the project.

Click here to read the Survey Report of families' and professionals' surveys that were carried out alongside the year 2 evaluation.


Gathering Evidence

We are grateful to a group of key academics who have worked to pull together the data and research evidence into a briefing paper.  A data supplement has also been produced, providing a thorough overview of the statistics behind the key messages of the briefing paper. Furthermore, an estimate of the number of children in England with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge has been made - click here to see the report.

Remarkably, each of these papers is the first of their kind in the field of early intervention for children with learning disabilities whose behaviours challenge. Together, they form a strong case for better early intervention.



We have run seven workshops over the past year to gather views from family carers, professionals, staff, commissioners, providers and members of the Challenging Behaviour National Strategy group. There is a huge amount of agreement about what good early intervention should look like.  The graphic below (illustrated by Pen Mendonca) shows the vision of early intervention developed with 27 family carers. There is appetite for change among professionals and commissioners in many areas of the country, and they need more information and support to help them work with families to get it right from the start.


(Click on picture to see an enlarged PDF)


To see a summary of each workshop please click the links below:

Workshop 1: Experts for driving change 

Workshop 2: Family carers (relatives aged 0-18)

Workshop 3:  Family carers (relatives at transition age)

Workshop 4: Professionals and staff  -  Key messages

                                                              -  Scenarios and alternatives

Workshop 5: Commissioners and service providers

Workshop 6 & 7: Experts for driving change 


Focus group

We want to ensure that the EIP is guided by the experiences of children with learning disabilities and behaviours described as challenging. We ran a focus group with young people with learning disabilities aged 11-16, to find out directly what they enjoy doing; what helps them; what barriers they face, and what they want to do in the future.


The graphic above shows the findings of this focus group (click on picture to see an enlarged PDF), and you can read the report here.



As well as writing papers and running workshops, the EIP is developing practical resources for family carers and professionals. Click here to go to our resources section, where you can find both tools we have created, and pre-existing resources developed by other groups.



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