PAMIS Launch New Two Day Understanding Communication and Managing Behaviour Course

**2 Day Understanding Communication and Managing Behaviour course for anyone who is involved in the support of individuals who have a learning disability**

Locations- Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stirling

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 in understanding and exploring 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 and behaviour will be enhanced. There will be practical experience, advice and strategies over the period of the course.

Attendance at this course will give you access to the PAMIS learning hub where you will find additional resources and discussion.

**Please note: Attendance required for both sessions**

Course starts a 9.30am and finishes at 4.30pm  on both dates.


The Eric Liddle Centre – Edinburgh – Monday the 10th of December and Wednesday the 12th of December 2018.


Scottish Youth Hosteling Association, Aberdeen – Wednesday the 23rd of January and Wednesday the 30th of January 2019


Scottish Youth Theatre – Glasgow – Monday the 25th of February and Monday the 4th of March 2019


Stirling – Wednesday the 20th of March and Wednesday the 27th of March 2019:



Day one:

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 the behaviours.

Learning Outcomes:

Sensory processing challenges and how they can affect behaviour.

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

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

  1. Increase knowledge and awareness of the communication process.
  2. Support participants to feel confident about communicating with people with PMLD.
  3. Promote inclusion.

Day two:

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 examples of positive Behaviour Support plans and find out the difference it has made to the individuals life. 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

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

Person Centred Active Support (PCAS) by Ruth Jeffrey 

Person-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 workshop provides an introduction to PCAS, describing its development and the values underpinning the approach. The workshop emphasizes the importance of engagement in meaningful activities and relationships, outlines the essential components of active support and the benefits of the approach. The workshop concludes with a practical exercise.

Learning Outcomes:

Person Centred Active Support (PCAS)

  1. To develop an awareness of the principles governing PCAS
  2. To understand the context of the PCAS approach in relation to current government policy
  3. To appreciate the benefits of PCAS
  4. To understand the essentials of active support
  5. To practise planning an activity with someone with learning disabilities using some of the approaches presented.

If you would prefer to book this course by email and be invoiced (avoiding booking fee) please email Fiona Harper at [email protected]

Please note- there are no refunds for this course however we do offer the option to transer your place to someone else in your organisation.

Please email Fiona Harper on [email protected] or call 01382 385154 if you have any questions.



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.

Ruth Jeffrey qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1992. After a year in acute mental health services in Aberdeen, she moved to Tayside in 1993 where she took up a post in learning disabilities at Strathmartine Hospital in Dundee. She specialised in working with clients who display challenging behaviour, both in an inpatient and day hospital setting. She later supported clients transitioning from Strathmartine into the community and latterly took up a community post with Angus Community Learning Disabilities Team, working with clients across the learning disabilities spectrum, until 2015. She now works independently providing training for PAMIS on a Consultancy basis. Ruth also has a 22 year old son with moderate learning disabilities and bipolar disorder, which she feels gives her a dual perspective on the challenges of working with people with profound and complex learning disabilities.

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.