Behaviour - what does it mean?

It is tricky to work out what exactly behaviour means, but simply put it is the actions we do everyday. Everything we do is a "behaviour". 

Sometimes parents and professionals talk about children having "challenging behaviour".

Challenging behaviour can be viewed as two main functions: to ACCESS something or to AVOID something. Often we just don't know what the child is trying to communicate, and this can perpetuate the behaviour. It is our job as allied health professionals and educators to help unpack, understand and listen to families in relation to their child's' behaviour.

Psychology and OT are great places to start, but there are also some great resources to be aware of.

Information on Behaviour is listed below.  


Ready to find out more?

We have a simple, one pager information sheet to help parents better understand behaviour. Check it our here!

Whole Body Listening 

These books help students develop a better concept of holistic listening, or Whole Body Listening. Whole Body Listening is more than just “hearing” with the ears. It includes:

Listening with the eyes, Listening with the mouth, Listening with the body, Listening with the hands,  Listening with the feet (standing still or quietly on the floor), Listening with the brain (thinking about what the speaker is saying), and Listening with the heart (caring about what the speaker is saying).

Behaviour Solutions for the Inclusive Classroom 

This book is a tool for teachers who have a student or students in their classroom whose behaviours are impeding their learning. If they see a particular behaviour, they can quickly look up an in-the-moment solution, and then read more about what could be causing that behaviour. A must-have for every inclusive classroom!

Its a Jungle 

"It's a Jungle" helps parents, teachers, and therapists to understand the link between emotions and behaviour and to keep children in the civilised world.  It utilises a 'jungle' analogy for understanding children's emotions and behaviour with implications for understanding adults as well

CBT in Action

CBT in Action: A Practitioner’s Toolkit, is a practical, hands-on, how-to-do-it book. The actual toolkit contains therapy resources for the CBT practitioner, and includes scripts, cheat sheets, client handouts and therapy record sheets for at home tasks.

No More Meltdowns

This book offers parents and teachers strategies for preventing and managing meltdowns.  It’s an easy-to-follow, 4-step model that supports everyday relationships with the children in your life: 1) Managing your own emotions by adjusting your expectations, 2) Learning strategies to calm a meltdown in the moment, 3) Understanding why a meltdown occurs, and 4) Creating plans to prevent future meltdowns.

A Work in Progress

This book is based on the ABA model, and provides strategies for improving behaviours of children with Autism. The first half of the book gives parents practical, how-to information on setting up an ABA program and dealing with difficult behaviours. The second part of the book is a detailed curriculum.

Australian Childhood Foundation

A great website with lots resources about trauma, parenting and how to make room for learning - one I use a lot. Easy to follow and very user friendly!

Childs Work Childs Play

This site contains information about counseling, therapeutic, and educational products for mental health and special education professionals and mental health practitioners. This includes games, books, and multimedia tools. We especially love the Instant Help Books!!

ACN Latitudes

Lots of free behaviour charts for teachers and parents on this site!! There are lots of other free printables as well!!


Raising Childrens Network

Raising Childrens Network is a great website with loads of behaviour tips that are specific to age groups. The site also has a great section on disability and autism. Information pages are also able to be saved as PDFs to pass on to families.

Check out our blog post on behaviour and bullying here!