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All children who are at risk of presenting behavioural challenges have the right to have their needs identified at an early stage, leading to co-ordinated early intervention, support and education. NICE guidelines recommend that lead commissioners provide local services which can identify needs early and offer specialist prevention and early intervention support.
Investing in early intervention report
Many families of disabled children struggle to get the right early support in the right place at the right time – and this can mean that children’s and families’ difficulties get worse unnecessarily. This report highlights how and why we should intervene early with targeted support for children with learning disabilities and their families. The report was produced in collaboration with Cerebra, Mencap, University of Warwick and the Council for Disabled Children.
Changing Conversations – Understanding Behaviour (Institute of Health Visiting (iHV))
The CBF took part in a collaborative project with the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV) to raise health visitors’ awareness of restrictive practices, how to challenge them and how to implement evidence-based alternatives. This included:
- developing and disseminating a survey to health visitors to determine their current understanding and training needs
- development and dissemination of an animation to understand the views of family carers and support resource development
- holding a focus group of family carers to gain their views
- contributing to the development and delivery of resources delivered through a series of workshops and webinars.
Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS)
Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) is a programme developed for families raising a young child with a learning disability or developmental disability. It was developed by the Tizard Centre with family carers, and with input from other key stakeholders including CBF.
Paving the Way
The right support provided locally, at the right time, and delivered in partnership with families can deliver good outcomes and avoid the high costs of crisis intervention. The CBF led a three-year project on early intervention called Paving the Way. It found that evidence based early interventions, delivered locally can reduce behavioural problems and improve the wellbeing and quality of life of children and families, as well as avoiding the high costs of crisis support and services.
The Paving the Way report describes how to develop effective local services for children with learning disabilities and behaviours described as challenging. It includes examples of good practice, outcomes and costings, and advice on how to develop evidence-based local services.
Getting the right support from an early age
Children with learning disabilities who display behaviours that challenge often need support from across health, education and social care to live a rewarding and fulfilling life. The process for accessing support varies across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Learn more about gaining access to the right support from an early age here: