The Importance of Schedules – Density of Preferred Events

I previously wrote about the importance of having a schedule. Lets look a little deeper into this and talk about the Density of Preferred Events.

What does this mean? It’s simple, it refers to how often does someone participates in an activity of enjoyment of their choosing.

This might be participating in events like:

  • Hobbies
  • Fitness and health
  • Relaxation
  • Social – seeing friends

Imagine if your life revolved around appointments, grocery shopping, banking, work. I know I would get pretty shitty if it was me. And if I couldn’t simply say “I want to go and watch the new Jurassic Park that is out” or “I want to see the ocean,” perhaps I might get really agitated, especially every week was just filled with the same boring stuff.

There is a pretty good chance that if this is occurring, then the chance that perceived challenging behaviour is going to occur. Now we know that challenging behaviour actually makes a lot of sense, as long as we try to understand it right?

So if you know of someone, possibly who resides in a group home, and whose week can be pretty boring. Ask yourself, “What does their daily life entail?” “Are they doing anything for fun?”

No? Well how about increasing the number of preferred events, fill their schedule on activities that they enjoy doing, and I bet you will see a decrease in challenging behaviour, if this is the reason for it.  Not rocket science right? If the behaviour doesn’t change, you will need to investigate other factors such as:

  • Pain
  • Illness
  • Changes in staff
  • Changes in routine
  • Medication changes
  • Mismatch of the environment

So reflect on a persons schedule that you support, and ask yourself this; would you enjoy it?

Reflection is a vital component to positive behaviour support, and I will write about that in another blog.

My takeaway message:

Life is for living and having fun, we all have the right to be happy.

A favourite quote from one of my all time favourite authors is:

“Life is more fun if you play games.”
― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

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