PAMIS Understanding Communication and Behaviour

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Tickets sales have now ended. If you are interested in PAMIS training and would like to know about future dates please sign up or our training news at
Event description
This two day course will support you to understand and explore strategies which help the people you are engaging with.

About this event

Profound means deep. People with profound learning and multiple disabilities are some of the most complex people that we work with. They often don’t communicate verbally or in a way that we readily understand. If we are to truly support them to lead valued and inclusive lives we must try to be experts in understanding them, their communication and the ways in which they interact with the world around them.

This 2 days course is led by experts in their field. It will support you to understand and explore strategies which help the people you are engaging with. It will also provide you with increased confidence to understand the reasons for some of the sensory-behaviour challenges you face on a day to day basis.

Knowledge and understanding of sensory integration as well as communication, behaviour and active support will be enhanced. There will be practical experience, advice and strategies over the period of the course.

If you would rather be invoiced for this training rather than pay through paypal please get in touch as we are happy to arrange- contact Fiona at

Course Content

This course has been redeveloped to be delivered online and includes a mix of live tutorial sessions, prerecorded video and home assignments.

It runs over two days -

Monday the 1st of November 10.00am-12.00pm and then 13.00 to 15.00 and

Monday the 8th of November 10.00am-12.00pm and then 13.00 to 15.00

On confirmation of your booking you will receive a welcome video which will introduce you to the team and give you more course and subject information. You will also receive a video and pre-course sensory checklist to watch and complete in advance of day one.

Day One (1st of November )

Four hours live and interactive tutorial- two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.

Sensory Processing Challenges and how they can affect behaviour by Susan Doogan.

During this portion of the course participants will have the opportunity to learn about basic neuro-science of the brain and how the sensory systems work. They will have the opportunity to examine the sensory systems in more detail and learn about the challenges people face when the sensory systems are inefficient.

In addition participants will learn about how to identify the possible sensory reasons for the behaviours that the person with sensory processing issues may be displaying and learn strategies to prevent them.

Learning Outcomes:

Sensory processing challenges and how they can affect behaviour.

You will:

  1. develop an understanding of the 8 sensory systems
  1. develop an understanding of behaviours related to sensory processing inefficiency
  2. Through your understanding of the sensory systems, more easily be able to identify the reasons for the behaviours and adapt your approach accordingly
  3. have a bank of strategies to use pro-actively

In advance of Day two you will receive a video and an exercise on the topic of communication and an exercise in communication and behaviour to be completed.

Day Two ( 8th of November)

The second day will consist again of 4 hours of live and interactive tutorials - two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.

Morning - Communication and Interaction by Joanna Fraser

This part of the course provides an overview of all aspects of communication and interaction and aims to raise awareness of the challenges experienced by people with PMLD. Participants will increase their knowledge of the communication process and find out about commonly used approaches to communicating with someone with PMLD which will increase the participants confidence in future interactions.

Learning Outcomes:

Communication and interaction.

You will:

  1. Have an increased knowledge and awareness of the communication process.
  2. feel confident about communicating with people with PMLD.
  3. Have developed skills to promote inclusion.

Afternoon - Communication through behaviour by Kate Sanger

Attendees will learn to use proactive support to reduce or eliminate restrictive practices. This training will support attendees to understand that all behaviours happen for a reason and that understanding the causes of challenging behaviour is vital so that we can put positive proactive changes in place. This avoids the individual having to challenge in order to get their needs met. This workshop will look at examples of positive Behaviour Support plans and find out the difference it has made to the individuals lives. Attendees will learn how to create their own.

'A good behaviour support plan can ensure that everyone involved with the person's care and support has a shared plan, based on agreed understanding of the person's challenging behaviour. This provides a consistent approach, to help people with severe learning disabilities feel secure and happy, and increase their independent skills’ - Challenging Behaviour Foundation, Positive Behaviour Support Planning.

Learning Outcomes:

Communicating through behaviour.

You will:

  1. develop an understanding of Challenging Behaviour and the function that it serves
  2. understand the affect that challenging behaviour has on the individual and those involved in their support
  3. understand the reasons for this behaviour and how your own response can impact on the individual
  4. appreciate the difference that Positive Behaviour Support can make and the reasons why it is used
  5. understand individualised PBS plans and learn how to create your own
  6. understand how working in partnership can result in better outcomes for everyone

This course has in the past had a dedicated session on Person Centred Active Support (PCAS), This was delivered by a colleague, parent and friend of PAMIS, Ruth Jeffrey who sadly died. There is no way to replace her passionate input so PAMIS and the course leaders decided that her work should run through the whole course. This is appropriate as meaningful activity is at the centre of each of the topics. The sessions are dedicated to her memory.

IPerson-centred Active Support (PCAS) is a practical approach to promote engagement in meaningful activities and relationships and thereby enable participation, choice and independence for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The course sessions will introduce you to PCAS, describing its development and the values underpinning the approach. The sessions will emphasize the importance of engagement in meaningful activities and relationships, outline the essential components of active support and the benefits of the approach. Throughout the sessions you will be supported to engage in practical exercises that will enable you to consider how you will implement these approaches in your own work.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Person Centred Active Support (PCAS). You will:
  2. develop an awareness of the principles governing PCAS
  3. appreciate the benefits of PCAS
  4. understand the essentials of active support
  5. practise planning an activity with someone you work with using some of the approaches presented.

This course will also make reference to the PAMIS digital passports. Information and support in developing these can be sought from Cat Jamieson, PAMIS digital lead –

A bit about our trainers........

Susan Doogan, BSc OT (1992), is a specialist in the field of Paediatric Occupational Therapy (OT) for 20 years within the NHS & Education Authority. Head of Paediatric OT Service for 8 years and registered under the health professions council & a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists. Susan is accredited to use standardised movement and perceptual assessments.

Joanna Fraser has worked as a Speech and Language therapist in Tayside for 33 years. Most of this time included providing therapy and support to adults children and their families with complex communication and eating and drinking difficulties. Joanna has worked in many teams and across health, Education and social work settings.

Kate Sanger has a daughter who has a severe learning disability, complex communication disorder, and ongoing medical needs. Kate’s background is in nursing, having trained in Glasgow and worked within the N.H.S. in Scotland and England. Due to her daughter displaying self-injurious behaviour, and behaviours described as challenging, when trying to communicate to others that something is wrong and her needs are not being met, Kate trained herself and her daughter’s support workers to understand the function of “challenging behaviour” and supporting strategies to support change in a positive manner. She became a trustee adviser to the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) and a co-presenter trainer and has given many presentation on “Behaviours that challenge Addressing the barriers to inclusion” at conferences and for the last five years Kate has been part of a team that gives workshops and presentation as part of a self- selective component course in caring for people with learning disabilities and complex needs to trainee doctors at Ninewells hospital.

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Organiser PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society)

Organiser of PAMIS Understanding Communication and Behaviour

Promoting a more inclusive society

We support people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, PMLD - their families, carers and professionals.

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