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Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties

Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD, EBSD, and SEBD) 

What are behavioural, emotional and social difficulties? 

Behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) are where young people/children find difficulty in successfully managing their behaviour and emotions, resulting in them showing behaviour which is often unpredictable. Children with BESD are often difficult to understand and it isn’t rare from them to become anxious and/or scared regularly. 

What are the signs of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties? 

Typical characteristics of children with BESD can include: 

  • Disruptive, antisocial and uncooperative behaviour 
  • Temper tantrums 
  • Frustration, anger and verbal and physical threats/aggression 
  • Withdrawn and depressed attitudes 
  • Anxiety and self-harm 
  • Stealing 
  • Truancy
  • Vandalism
  • Drug abuse 
  • Setting fires 

How can we help students with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties?

1. Be patient and set small goals 

It can be easy to constantly feel the need to intervene and micromanage the behaviour of your pupils. However, it’s important you pick specific goals to target, then focus on completing them. 

2. One-to-one time 

If a student is particularly challenging, make sure you try to speak with them outside of the classroom environment. Where there is a crowd, the student may act up to get attention and laughs out of his/her classmates.

3. Pick your battles 

Sometimes it may seem constructive to point out small things and aim for perfection. However, take it one step at a time, if a child is managing to focus on their work, but simultaneously tapping on their desk, it may be worth letting them get away with it and reward them for their focus. 

If you’re keen to learn more about children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, head to this website which has lots of information which might help.

Where Does BehaviourWatch come into it?

BehaviourWatch is in use by SEN schools both nationally and internationally to efficiently record critical data to help institutions clearly identify patterns and answer vital questions, such as “Is pupil X’s behaviour a challenge every Monday? Does pupil X display negative behaviour during every period 4? When is pupil X showing positive behaviour? Is the library causing pupil X a challenge? Does pupil X have a challenge with a particular member of staff? What interventions are helping reduce negative behaviour? Is medication impacting behaviour?”.

Each system is custom built to match existing policies and processes to support SEN schools with all aspects of behaviour management and can include SEMH assessment, EHCPs and intervention tracking to improve outcomes.


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