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A communication training programme for residential staff working with adults with challenging behaviour: pilot data on intervention effects


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Smidt, A and Balandin, S and Reed, V and Sigafoos, J (2007) A communication training programme for residential staff working with adults with challenging behaviour: pilot data on intervention effects. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 20 (1). pp. 16-29. ISSN 1360-2322

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Challenging behaviour often serves a communicative
function. It therefore stands to reason that the
residential staff working in developmental disability services require training to foster appropriate communicative interactions with adults with challenging behaviour.

Eighteen members of staff working in three residential
services participated in a 4 week communication
training programme. The programme focused on staff
attitudes to and beliefs about challenging behaviour,
communicative interactions between staff and residents
and working as a team. Objective measurements were
made of the effects of the training programme on staff
use of augmentative and alternative communication,
praise and use of inappropriate language in a multiple baseline design across three organizations. Changes in
the rate of challenging behaviours among the residents
were also evaluated.

As staff’s use of AAC and praise increased, and
inappropriate language decreased, there was some concomitant decrease in residents’ levels of challenging
behaviour; however, these results were not sustained in
the long-term.

This pilot data suggest that an approach to staff training based on modifying attitudes and beliefs is potentially beneficial to both staff and residents.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: challenging behaviour, staff training, communication, developmental disability, residential care staff
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Page Range: pp. 16-29
ISSN: 1360-2322
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2006.00336.x
Additional Information:

The original publication is available at

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:29
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:35
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