Family Carers who assist individuals with challenging behaviour


de-escalation training for parents and family members

  • Do you ever find your child displays difficult behaviour?
  • Is any behaviour impacting on relationships within the family?
  • Would you like information on being safer for all?
  • Would you like training and practical solutions?
I found my training experience with De-Escalate to be extremely valuable. It is evidence based, clearly explained and taught and the situation is always seen from the point of view of the distressed person as well which really helps. I would very much like to do more of this training and if I can I will definitely be back. Thanks so much.
— H.M. Parent

Working with indiviudals in distress (rather than challenging behaviour) can be stressful for us as carers.

When a family member is in distress it can be incredibly stressful to maintain an ongoing positive relationship.

Any relationship has stressful times and having that stress within the family can be hard for others to understand, however in your home an individual in distress can put pressure on all aspects of family life. Child development only plays a part. Relationships are the key to successful family life.

D.ESCAL8 TM family workshops are fully bespoke to the needs of the participants rather than following a set syllabus. Workshops are underpinned by specifically designed techniques to assist you to develop positive relationships with family members in distress.

I highly recommend the training to any professional who works with children where their presentation needs to be safely managed in such a way that actually supports that young person and staff. The training was very refreshing, providing new ways to manage a range of behaviours. This is done by first fully understanding the Young Persons needs through close analysis of ‘why’ the Young Person presents in a particular way. We were also able to link presentation to other issues such as sensory, communication and also routines. By fully understating this first, we are able to taylor our approach resulting in incidents being carefully and safely managed. By understanding first the person’s needs, we were able to taylor our approach to de-escalate before any physical intervention. The ethos around any physical intervention has been well thought out and tested. The training was delivered very well and has supported my ability as a practitioner so keep myself and the Young People safe.
— L.C. - NQSW/Social Worker/ASW Practitioner
Brilliant course. It has given me the confidence to remain calm when my son is very upset - keeping calm is the best thing for him.
— C.P. -parent
Very worthwhile three days - gave me additional skills and a greater sense of confidence in my caring role and made some new friends too. I’d recommend this to anyone interested in providing good quality care.
— M.G. -parent
I attended the two day parent and family course with my older son and my younger son’s PA. As well as having a son with autism I work in a special school, so am trained in the Team Teach approach. Before the course, I did wonder how different it would be to what I already knew. We have many strategies in place at home for trying to de-escalate my son’s behaviour, many of which work well, but the occasional times when he has been completely out of control in the last year have had an enormous emotional impact on us as a family and on the way we interact with him for a while after the event. As he is extremely sensitive to the moods of others, this then had a negative effect on his behaviour.

The most positive part of the course for me was the emotional resilience it built in dealing with physical behaviours. The idea of ‘staying in the moment’ when a child is distressed, rather than immediately employing avoidance or escape techniques, was particularly helpful.

Des is a brilliant trainer and put everyone at their ease, including my 15 year old son, who learnt a huge amount. It was also great to have Chris presenting from a parent’s point of view - the videos and discussion around them were very useful.

Perhaps most significantly, we have not had any major outbursts from my younger son since we attended two weeks ago, despite changes of staff at school and our house being upside down with building work. I am positive that this is a result of subtle changes in the way we react when he is beginning to show signs of distress. I have fed back to his class staff at school and they have also reported positively about his behaviour. He just seems more relaxed; I think because we are. So thank you Des and Chris. We are looking forward to a refresher next year!
— S.P. Parent & Teacher

Parent & Family Trainer

Christianne has a teenage son with severe autism who is non-verbal and has severe learning disabilities. She has a background in studying interactions of children with severe autism using a methodology called Conversation Analysis (CA) and has presented this work at international conferences. Together with Tim Auburn at the University of Plymouth she has published a chapter in a book looking at the ways children with severe autism use laughter to joke and tease.  She is now working on using CA to provide useful feedback to people working with or caring for children and  adults with severe autism. Her own experiences of managing her son’s distressed behaviours and the huge difference D.ESCAL8 training made to her family motivated discussion about providing these opportunities for other families. She is committed to working with other families to improve the lives of people living with and affected by distressed behaviours.

In her spare time she enjoys horse riding, walking on Dartmoor with the dog and surfing.

Dad and I just wanted to send a quick message to say thank you for the bespoke training course you ran around our son. Having a course aimed at children and run for children’s services made it all very relevant and specific, in a way the general course just cannot be. As you are aware things were becoming pretty tricky at home, and Dad and I were struggling to manage our son’s frequent outbursts.

It was very helpful to us that you spent so much time in our home, observing (and helping us manage) his outbursts. Consultants we have dealt with in the past have taken a step back and not been keen to spend too much time hands on in the home and it was refreshing and really very different to have someone with us not afraid to join us and really demonstrate how to manage an extreme outburst (I hope your bruises are getting better by the way – since doing the course we have not had our daily top up as incidents are just not escalating in the same way – so yours may be the last ones dished out for a while!).

Although I had tried to explain PBS to Dad, it was much clearer coming from you, and it has really helped us work together and stay calm (which of course helps our son).

I have emailed the Council Childrens Services to thank them for funding the course, and for getting the whole team together – it was incredibly helpful to have everyone involved in our son’s care across school, home and respite on the same course.

We really are very grateful for everything you have done. We’d appreciate it if you could add us to an email list for refresher courses – I suspect that at some stage we will find it handy to revisit everything we have learned.
— C.P. Parent (written prior to joining D8)

Publications & Talks

Book chapter: Christianne Pollock, Timothy Auburn, (2013), “Laughter and competence: Children with severe autism using laughter to joke and tease”, In Studies of laughter in interaction (Phillip Glenn, Elisabeth Holt, eds.), Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 135-60.

Pollock, C. and Auburn T. Joking in teaching contexts by children with severe autism. International Conference on Conversation Analysis, 4-8 July 2010, Mannheim, Germany,

Pollock, C. and Auburn T. ‘Laughter is the shortest distance between two people’ (Victor Borge). Laughter in the interactions of children with severe autism. International Conference on Laughter and Humour in Interaction. Huddersfield, 24-25 June 2009

Pollock, C, Auburn, T., Clibbens, J. and Phillips, C. (2008) Interactions of Children with Severe Autism. International Meeting for Autism Research, London, England. 15th – 17th May, 2008


D.ESCAL8™ BILD Accredited Courses:

3 day Foundation Developing Positive Relationships with individuals in distress – Adults

3 day Foundation Developing Positive Relationships with individuals in distress – Children and Young People

In house Trainers Project