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Supporting the direct involvement of students with disabilities in functional assessment through use of Talking Mats®

Jill Bradshaw (Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Nick Gore (Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Cathy Darvell (Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 3 April 2018

777

Abstract

Purpose

Bowring et al. describe ways of using the Behavior Problems Inventory – Short Form, illustrating how to use clinical norms to evaluate change. This commentary focuses on the importance of considering information gained directly from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) during assessment. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot project involved interviews with four children with IDD. A Talking Mats® (TM) framework was used to gather children’s views regarding challenging behaviours (CBs) and variables relevant to a functional behavioural assessment, such as things they found to be reinforcing, things that set the occasion for CB and things that helped prevent this.

Findings

The children were able to provide information and insight into several areas that are influential in the maintenance of behaviour that challenges. Some of this information may not have been obtainable from other sources or informants using traditional assessment methods alone.

Originality/value

Gathering the views of people with IDD is important. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations, 2009) states that people have the right to be heard. Many people with IDD have difficulties communicating. A TM framework is one method by which people may be able to express their views. Taking the views of the individual into account during the process of gathering information about behaviours that challenge should lead to greater understanding of the functions of any behaviours and therefore to more targeted, acceptable and effective forms of support.

Keywords

Citation

Bradshaw, J., Gore, N. and Darvell, C. (2018), "Supporting the direct involvement of students with disabilities in functional assessment through use of Talking Mats®", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 111-116. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-01-2018-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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