A family’s battle to understand “challenging behaviour” [2017]

This is about the authors’ son James’ life. The purpose of this paper is to share a story of misfortune and a battle to find answers in which the greatest enemy was ignorance. Such experiences are not uncommon. It is the authors hope that sharing this will make some small contribution to bringing about change.

The authors discuss the experiences of care placements, and the battle to understand “challenging behaviour”.

Reflecting upon James’ experiences of the care system, it is clear that the system is fragmented and operates in silos that do not work together. Decision makers were all too often individuals not qualified to assess James’ needs and therefore implement appropriate solutions. The outcome was repeated failure which resulted in the view that he was a lost cause.

Such cruelty as James has experienced should be recognised and banished forever.

David Jack, Jill Jack

Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 22 Issue: 2, 2017