Understanding behaviour

One of the most common questions Christine Zuvela, Centre Director of SDN Beranga Lighthouse, is asked by early childhood educators is how do I stop them from having a meltdown?

The key, according to Christine, is to understand that all behaviour is a form of communication.

Christine, who has a master’s degree in Autism Studies, convenes SDN Beranga’s Understanding Behaviour workshop for early childhood professionals that provides educators with an understanding of why challenging behaviours occur and how to prevent these behaviours within an education and care setting.

“The focus of this workshop is not on managing, but on understanding so the educator can better support the child.” Christine said. “It’s important that educators start with the attitude, that they can’t control this, so they need to understand it.”

Christine uses Dan Siegel’s Flip your Lid analogy to help educators understand what happens to the brain when the child is in meltdown.

“The Flip your Lid analogy highlights that when children are in meltdown, they have lost their rational skills such as their communication, memory and problem solving skills.” Christine said. “One of the most important things that educators learn at the workshop is that this is not the time to teach. All the educator can do in those times is acknowledge how the child is feeling and make sure everyone is safe.”

Educators leave the workshop with practical ideas they can implement in their service to reduce challenging behaviours and tools to help them to understand those behaviours.

Watch Dan Siegel’s Flip your Lid Analogy:

The next Understanding Behaviour workshop will be run on Wednesday 19 August 2017 from 6.30-8.30pm at SDN Beranga in Rooty Hill. Register now!

SDN Beranga Lighthouse is a purpose built, specialised centre in Rooty Hill that supports children with autism spectrum disorder and their families.