Hydrocephalus behaviour


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Many of the calls we receive are about behaviour. Unfortunately, as parents, our ability to manage our child’s behaviour seems to be one of those things that identifies us as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ parents, which is why when things seem to be going wrong it is often distressing. The first thing to remember is that all parents have difficulties with their child’s behaviour sometimes and the second is that though we can’t control children’s behaviour, we can manage it.

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Hydrocephalus behaviour

  1. 1. shinecharity.org.uk info@shinecharity.org.uk 42 Park Road Peterborough PE1 2UQ 01733 555988BehaviourMany of the calls we receive are about behaviour.Unfortunately, as parents, our ability to manage our child’sbehaviour seems to be one of those things that identifies usas ‘good’ or ‘bad’ parents, which is why when things seemto be going wrong it is often distressing. The first thing toremember is that all parents have difficulties with their child’sbehaviour sometimes and the second is that though we can’tcontrol children’s behaviour, we can manage it.How hydrocephalus may may be that you can do something in one place but not another. If youimpact on learning and don’t understand jokes your friendsbehaviour may think you‘re a bit ‘odd’. The impact that hydrocephalus canChildren with hydrocephalus have on learning and behaviourtypically have problems with varies with each individual.understanding language, Some people may have very fewconcentration, short term memory problems, where as in others theand processing information. All of consequences can be much morethese, potentially, can have an serious. It is important to rememberimpact on behaviour. If you can ‘t that children with hydrocephalusremember instructions then you often have a number of specificwon’t be able to carry them out. learning difficulties, which mayIf you have trouble transferring mean that they learn in a differentknowledge to new situations it way, and need different strategies
  2. 2. Behaviourto help them. Additionally, if and adults with developmentalchildren are struggling at school, difficulties it becomes even moreeither academically or with their complicated as they may not reactsocial relationships this can in the way we would expect.have a detrimental effect on self-esteem, which in itself can cause Strategies for managingbehavioural difficulties. If you think challenging behaviourthis may be an issue it is importantto talk to your child’s school. All the manuals and programmes necessarily ignore individualHuman behaviour is extremely circumstances and personalities,complicated. Psychologists, some will argue that these aren’tsociologists, philosophers, relevant. It is, however, veryeducationalists, politicians and difficult to give a standard recipemany other groups have studied, for improving children’s behaviour.analysed and argued over many Every situation is different and mayyears about how and why we require different strategies, butbehave in particular ways. This has there are ways that we can beginled to a multitude of theories about to work out what is going wronghow behaviour can be managed and how to put it right.and in recent years numeroustelevision programmes and books Firstly, try to detach yourself fromwhich often make it look very the situation a little. This is noteasy! Parents, and teachers, easy but try to see it as a problemoften feel de-skilled when faced to be solved and approach itwith a child who does not behave ‘scientifically’.appropriately. Make a list of the behavioursThis, in turn, can lead to the situation which you are finding difficult,getting worse as parents get more then prioritise them from theand more frustrated and children most to the least troubling.feel more powerful but also lesssecure, making their behavioureven more extreme. In children
  3. 3. Concentrate on the behaviour at the top of the list and make There are four strategies, a note of anything which which are particularly useful; might be relevant. When does it happen? Where does it Routine - the more established a happen? Is any other particular routine the less likely a child is to try to person involved? How often change it. You may need a ‘going to does it happen? What happens school’ routine, a ‘what to do when before? What happens after? you come home’ routine, a ‘bedtime’ How do other people react? routine. In fact, wherever you notice How does it stop? You may a time that causes problems, try a need to observe for a few days routine. Routines are particularly important for children with short- Then try to work out what term memory problems. Repetition the child is getting from this enables them to remember what behaviour. Is it attention? Do to do and allows them to be more they enjoy the fuss? Do they get independent. their own way? Do they avoid doing something else? Consistency - this ties into routines but also includes how we respondAt this point you should have some to a behaviour. If we always ignoreideas about what triggers the ‘Johnny’ when he shouts thenbehaviour, how it stops, and what eventually he will stop shouting, ifthe child gets from it. Now you are we only ignore it now and again thenin a better position to try to change he will learn that it works sometimesit. This will take time. Your child may and he keeps trying.have been practising this behaviourfor several years. It is unrealistic to Look for the Positive, Ignore theexpect it to stop immediately. You Negative sometimes - we haveand your child will need to learn to make a real effort to notice thenew behaviours to replace the one positives but when you do notice thatyou want to stop. your child is behaving appropriately, make sure they know you’ve noticed. Reward good behaviour, however
  4. 4. small. Rewards can be anything These strategies may well help inthat the child enjoys; a cuddle, curbing inappropriate behaviourfive minutes playtime, music, just but this is when the hard worka smile. It doesn‘t have to be a really begins! Children need helppresent. Try to ignore inappropriate in learning how to manage theirbehaviour as much as you can. If own behaviour. Some childrenyou have to intervene do it as calmly with hydrocephalus will need directand as quietly as possible, avoid teaching of social skills becausearguments and discussion. Make they find social interaction,instructions clear and positive; understanding language, reading‘This is what I want you to do’, not, emotions and body language very‘Don‘t do that’. difficult. They may need to learn how to manage their own emotions.Make time - try to make some What do you do when you aretime every day which is just for you angry, frustrated, really excited?and your child. It could be built intoa routine, for example, at bedtime. Again, this is very child specificIt is important that this time is and not everything can be coveredguaranteed, no matter what, even in this leaflet. Shine Support andif you don‘t feel like it. If your child Development Workers, and Shinedoesn’t feel like it, make it clear Education Advisers, are here tothat this is special time and you are offer advice. Call 01733 555988 toavailable if they change their mind. locate your local contact.Help usShine relies on people’s generosity and support so we can help our clientswho depend on us for help and advice - people with hydrocephalus,spina bifida, their families and carers. To donate to Shine please visitwww.shinecharity.org.uk or call 01733 555988.This information has been produced by Shine’s medical advisers andapproved by Shine’s Medical Advisory Committee of senior medicalprofessionals.Shine - Registered charity no.249338To see our full range of information sheets and to find out how to donateto Shine please visit www.shinecharity.org.uk