ABOUT US & CONTACT US
By promoting best practice, PABSS will contribute to the overall quality and effectiveness of behaviour support for people with learning disabilities/additional support needs nationally and internationally.
This underpins social inclusion, social justice, promotes better education, and health and well-being, and ultimately allows people with learning disabilities/additional support needs and their families to lead a better life.
Improving lives for children and adults with additional support needs and their families, carers and all professionals who work with them. Using an evidence based framework to understand that all behaviour happens for a reason. We give a voice to those who have none.
PABSS aims to provide awareness, training, support, campaigning and advocacy in Positive Behaviour Support to those families and professionals involved in the care and education of children and adults with learning disabilities and/or additional support needs (ASN).
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Beth’s youngest son Calum has complex additional support needs including Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. Calum sustained horrific injuries during a dangerous face-down “restraint” by staff at his “special school” in 2010.
Beth was extremely vocal about this practise and began hearing from hundreds of other families whose child had been treated in a similar way. She decided that more needed to be done to support children with disabilities who communicate distress through their behaviour. She has dedicated the last decade of her life supporting parents and families like her in school meetings and on various parent forums.
After studying Psychology, Behavioural Science and Mental Health at University. Beth trained with BILD (British Institute of Learning Disabilities) successfully completing their Positive Behaviour Support Coaches Programme. All to understand how children, young people and adults with learning disabilities should be cared for, without the need for restraint and seclusion.
In 2014, She found that there was no guidance for school staff on the use of restrictive practices so she campaigned with the help of the Scottish Parliamentary Petitions committee in Holyrood to get the guidance she felt was badly needed first of all in Scotland then later she took her campaign UK wide. Supported by almost every children’s and disability organisation, Beth’s campaign went as far as the UNCRC in Geneva and, as a result, she not only won a national award, it was key to the Scottish Government producing the current guidance for schools in 2017.
Beth is passionate about understanding behaviour as communication and founded PABSS which is a registered Charity. Her organisation brings training and understanding to parents, carers and professionals that positive & proactive strategies, focused on meeting the emotional, physical and sensory needs of the individual is a real alternative to the use of restrictive practices which will promote better, happier lives. In 2018, as a result of Beth’s campaigning success, Scotland’s Commissioner for children and Young People launched a formal investigation into the use of restraint & seclusion in schools resulting in “No Safe Place” published in 2019.
Beth joined the UK’s Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) to provide expert guidance to steer all elements of RRN work including the development of a Scottish Community of Practise. She is also on the board of ENABLE Scotland and is an award-winning children’s and disability rights campaigner. Beth was inducted into The Saltire Society’s Outstanding Women of Scotland. She is an Amnesty International Award Winner and was one of The Times Educational Supplements “People of The Year 2019”
In 2020, Beth launched a research paper in collaboration with the RRISC Group in the House of Lords on how restraint & seclusion affects children & young people in schools. She is now working with The Scottish Government once again to help inform brand new rights-based guidance on the use of restrictive practises which she hopes will uphold the human rights of children and young people in schools and children’s services. She is still absolutely committed to eliminating the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion and that staff and professionals will be given the right training, skills and support to do the jobs they love.
Trustee & Makaton Trainer
Hello I am Sarah a trustee for PABSS and a mother to three young children. My professional background is in nursing where I currently work as a band 5 (degree level) staff nurse within NHS Tayside.
I became aware of PABSS when my oldest was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder where PABSS supported me and helped me to produce a Communication Passport for my son. I am honoured to be part of such an amazing charity that is currently campaigning and working towards Positive and Active Behaviour Support for those with additional needs in the UK.
Creator of Communication Passport
I am the mother of three, my youngest daughter has a severe learning disability,complex
communication disorder, and ongoing medical needs. My background is in nursing, having trained in Glasgow and worked within the N.H.S. in Scotland and England, I gave up my career to become a full time carer for my daughter who requires 24 hr care.My daughter can display 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.
This has led me to training myself and all those who support my daughter in understanding the function of "challenging behaviour" and supporting strategies to support change in a positive manner.
I became a trustee adviser to the "Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) and a co-presenter trainer. I have given presentations on "Behaviours that challenge, Addressing the "Barriers to inclusion" as a family carer at the Royal Society Of Medicine at their conference at Dundee University. I also gave a presentation in the Scottish Parliament "Excellence out of Adversity”. Over the last five years I have been part of a team that gives workshops as part of a self-selective component course in caring for people with learning disabilities within a medical setting. I along with my eldest daughter Jennifer Sanger have created the website mycommpass.com where you will find our Communication Passports and Template and guidelines we have made our resources free so every family and professional could make a passport giving a voice to those who struggle to make their own voice heard.
I have worked tirelessly over the past fifteen years to promote a better understanding of the reasons for behaviours described as challenging and it would be my dream that there would be Mandatory Training for all staff involved in the care of children and adults with learning disabilities and I would welcome a society where we treat children like my wonderful young daughter the same as everyone else.
Trustee & Treasurer to The Board
Hi, I am Siralyn, a married mum of three children. My eldest son Andrew is 19 years old and has autism, sensory integration problems and anxiety. I gave up work as a hairdresser and army cadet force adult instructor when Andrew was diagnosed at 3 years old to become his full-time carer. As a result, I have gained vast experience of caring for a person with autism and behaviour described as “challenging”. Since I became Andrews carer, I have become increasingly aware that there is insufficient understanding amongst both professionals and the public at large that his behaviour is a form of communication. The lack of empathy that results from the misinterpretation of his actions leads to stress for both Andrew and the professionals that come into contact with him. This stress is largely avoidable. I have learned over the years to be proactive and resourceful in supporting Andrew through his behavioural distress. I have come to understand the need for self-reflection, and have become aware of how my own body language, tone of voice, and demeanour affect Andrew, and how he acts and reacts. I have also found that a strict control and management approach to “discipline”, often practised in schools, does not work and indeed I know that such strategies only exacerbate his anxieties and lead to unnecessary stress for both Andrew and staff who employ those tactics. This realisation has transformed my parenting style which has also had a positive impact on my two neurotypical girls as well as Andrew. I have been actively involved at Spectrum in Dundee for 16 years and am currently their treasurer. Now that Andrew has transitioned into adult services, I am excited to also join PABSS and will help promote the Positive Behaviour Support strateges that I know from experience can not only have a hugely beneficial impact on children like Andrew, but also benefit those professionals who need to work with our children in schools, health services, respite and playschemes.
Creator of the PABSS Logo
JR Design was founded in 2012 by professional graphic designer and photographer Joe Rossa. Specialising in high quality image processing and logo design, JR Design produces and composes images for advertising, marketing and brand composition. With over five years professional experience and a qualification in graphic design, Joe is ready to work with you to create a work of art everytime. Joe was delighted to help PABSS create a bespoke logo as he has a brother with Autism.
Trustee and Tech Guy
Hi my name is Davie, a young person with Asperger Syndrome, a type of Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am a new trustee to PABSS, joining in March 2019. I am best known within PABSS as being their Tech Guy, I created this site, manage our remote working systems, provide tech advice and keep the team right on anything digital. I am glad to be part of #TeamPABSS and enjoy all the work I do to help the team run.