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Positive Behaviour Threats

August 15, 2015

I know I shouldn’t, but I still get shocked when Steven tells me a story from his time in the ATU that I’ve never heard before. There is the odd good story but most of them leave me choked up at the awful experience he had for a year.

This afternoon Steven had a meltdown. I’m on the last day of antibiotics for a throat infection and my voice keeps cracking up. This really throws Steven because I’m not talking in my usual voice and he gets more and more agitated until the meltdown kicks off. It was two hours of brain mushing repetitive talking, throwing things around and trying to kick me and the support worker. It only abated when Steven sat down and started to watch one of his old primary school videos.

Recently, he’s taking to apologising after a meltdown and announcing: “Silly head is in the bin. Steven Neary’s got his sensible head on again”.

He said that today but followed it up with a new line:

“If you can’t be sensible, you’ll be dragged off to court”.

He repeated it several times, expecting me to say it back to him to make sure I’d understood. I asked him who had said that to him and he told me that it was one of the shift leaders at the ATU.

What a thing to threaten someone with whilst they are in deep distress. In fact, for that matter, what a thing to threaten someone with at any time. It’s also rather ironic because it was a court that stopped Steven being dragged off to a permanent placement in Wales.

The ATU was billed as a positive behaviour unit. I hate to think that threats like that are what passes for positive behaviour support.


From → Social Care

  1. Lisa permalink

    Mark, this is just horrible. My son too, repeats threats from his past ( and threats made to others) from respite he had within a residential house. Heart breaking.

  2. meg permalink

    That’s beyond outrageous Mark. In fact I would call it abusive, coersive and bullying. Definitely not positive in any sense. A shift leader too, someone others follow. Sometimes – more and more frequently of late, I wonder what happened to the ‘care’ part of the Care Industry and it makes for depressive thinking 😐

  3. Certainly not positive – as you say ironically it’s the Court which got him out. If you were a behaviourist this connection would encourage Stephen to melt down to get home!!

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