Responding to individuals with severe learning difficulties and stereotyped behaviour: challenges for an inclusive era

Nind, Melanie and Kellett, Mary (2002). Responding to individuals with severe learning difficulties and stereotyped behaviour: challenges for an inclusive era. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 17(3) pp. 265–282.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08856250210162167

Abstract

Traditionally, professionals working with individuals with severe learning difficulties who demonstrate stereotyped behaviours, such as rocking and hand-flapping, have viewed such behaviours as undesirable, inappropriate and in need of reduction or elimination. This perspective is influenced by notions of readying those individuals for mixed settings, educating, training or modifying them to help gain their acceptance. Intensive Interaction is an alternative approach for working with individuals with complex difficulties that responds positively to them and their stereotyped behaviours, sometimes using these as a point of connection. Intensive Interaction sets out to enhance social and communication abilities and not to reduce stereotyped behaviours. However, findings from two studies of Intensive Interaction that show some reduction in stereotyped behaviours are reported and discussed. The authors consider the way in which more inclusive thinking connects with changes in thinking about stereotyped behaviour and the individuals who engage in them.

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