Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

Adopting a person-centred approach to supporting young people with learning disabilities.

A values-led approach to understanding behaviour, meeting needs, and promoting quality of life

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

The PBS model focuses on problem solving behaviour difficulties using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).

The goal is that any behavioural changes will be acceptable and sustainable across settings, based on the understanding of why, when, and how behaviours happen, and what purpose they serve.

The model then focuses on altering triggers for behaviour. 

Origins of Positive Behaviour Support

PBS was developed in the 1980’s following concerns about unsympathetic care-giver techniques for those who have a learning disability.

The PBS model looks at bringing about a quality of life improvement (QoL).

QoL is defined as the degree to which individuals experience personal well-being in terms of participation in valued activities and settings, physical health, and overall satisfaction with their surroundings and relationships (Schalock et al. 2007).

PBS Plans

A Behaviour Support Plan (BSP) sets out the support required to help someone achieve a good quality of life (QoL).

What is needed to achieve a quality of life, and what that looks like for each of us, will be different because we all have different needs.

Support plans are therefore personalised and unique.  However, they should all include key information about the person so that they can be used as a practical tool followed consistently by everyone involved in that person’s care.

A BSP should be based on a good understanding of the reason(s) why a person uses behaviour that others may find challenging.  

Positive Behaviour Support plans need to be socially valid.  They need to ‘address socially significant problems, be undertaken in a manner which is acceptable to the main constituencies involved and result in socially important outcomes or effects’ (Emerson, 2005, p14).