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How the right support changed John’s life for the better

In August 2011, we started supporting a young man called John. John is profoundly deaf and communicates using British Sign Language which he has significantly adapted with his unique “accent”.

Before joining us, he had been locked up in an Assessment and Treatment Centre because of his challenging behaviour.

Where others may have seen a young man with a history of violence, we saw John’s unique situation as an opportunity to develop a positive behaviour support programme to both reduce his challenging behaviour and improve his quality of life.

When John first joined us, he required 16 hours of support a day – not only was this an expensive package, but one of his first goals was to become more independent.

His staff team, with help from Dimensions Behaviour Support Team, worked hard to learn how best to communicate with him.

After time, they could identify precursor behaviours and respond to bring any episodes of challenging behaviour to a close quickly and safely before they escalated.

After just three months with us, John’s behaviour transformed. He became much happier and more at ease and as a result, his support in the community was reduced from 3:1 to 2:1.

Similarly his in-house support reduced to 1:1, resulting in savings to his support package and allowing him much greater independence. And shortly after, his support was reduced to just 1:1 full-time.

Instances of challenging behaviour were John’s way of communicating that he was unhappy. Yet with the right support, he’s had no reported incidents of severe physical aggression since July 2012.

Initially, staff supported John with all areas of personal care but over the years he has learnt how to do these himself and become more independent.

Most importantly he has developed strong relationships with his staff team, enabling him to live the life that he chooses.

John’s story is just one example of how by giving the right support, substantial savings can be made and individual’s quality of life can be transformed.

*Not his real image used

Positive Behaviour Support

  • Identified triggers for challenging behaviour
  • Trained staff in alternative strategies
  • Used creative communication techniques

Person-centred approaches

  • John's home was built to meet his needs
  • Staff received specialist training prior to supporting John with this training refreshed every three months
  • 4:1 staffing available at any time to assist in crisis intervention
  • John has a fully adapted Motability vehicle for increased independence

Before and after comparison


  • Challenging behaviour
  • 16 hours a day support
  • 3:1 support in the community


  • No reports of physical aggression since July 2012
  • 1:1 support
  • Improved quality of life

Key outcomes

  • Challenging behaviour has all but disappeared
  • John is much happier and enjoys a better quality of life
  • Staff felt more comfortable and safe around John

Key data

  • No reports of physical aggression since July 2012
  • 1:1 support
  • Improved quality of life