Skip to main content

Every Generation Must Fight the Same Battles Again & Again: Remembering All The Variables? Why Subjective Should Be The New Objective

Osgood, Tony (2017) Every Generation Must Fight the Same Battles Again & Again: Remembering All The Variables? Why Subjective Should Be The New Objective. In: 2017 BILD PBS Conference. . (Submitted)

Abstract

As Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) has gained traction in the UK it has understandably focussed on the collection of robust objective data to support not only ethical & efficient interventions but also its own generalisation as the method of choice to respond or pre-empt challenging behaviour. The archaeology of PBS includes Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) with its focus on observable phenomena to establish functional relationships, but ABA is only one founding component of PBS: a person centred, socially valid and constructive values-derived paradigm was equally central. Indeed, the rapprochement between values and technology is at the heart of PBS. For ‘objective’ data to dominate is therefore counter-productive to the acceptability of PBS by stakeholders. PBS in part grew from a professional unease with the domination of such a methodological behavioural paradigm: many of the originators of PBS discovered what mattered to families and people using services was not so much reliable data and replicable technologies, as being listened to and involved. New skills mean new opportunities and new relationships. Professionals often had more control over, than involvement in, a person’s life. As PBS grows adherents, practitioners need to remember the lessons of the past and balance clinical with social validity. Opportunities exist each day to revisit critiques of purely data-driven approaches (with their bias toward the authority of professionals) and to extend ‘data’ to include stories and subjective accounts of what matters to people using service. The rightful place of people with intellectual disabilities or autism spectrum conditions is as arbiters of quality outcomes, not as passive recipients: these are the lessons from countless abuse scandals. Older formulations of behavioural work were not always perpetrators of abuse (though this did happen), but may have propagated abuse. There is a vast difference between subject and human. What we measure should not merely be easy to gather, but relevant to people wanting person-centred support. PBS practitioners can actively contribute to this by placing the human experience firmly in the constellation of legitimate data. The importance of practice leadership rather than management as a method to generalise and maintain person-centred PBS will be examined briefly; facilitators of PBS have acquired comprehensive skills to lead change of cultures. Our knowledge of systems, leadership and individualized solutions might be of use to those commissioning service provision or designing services. The reality is good PBS leaders know more about what is required than many commissioners. Support- if it advocates for individuals – is inherently political in nature. For PBS to help give voice to people too often seen in the ‘care economy’ as commodities, as cattle not customers, will require PBS practitioners to work with the knowledge we operate in complex political spaces.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: challenging behaviour, positive behaviour support, qualitative methods, subjective experience, person centred approaches, listening, understanding, rapport, practice leadership
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Tony Osgood
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2017 10:02 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/61354 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year