Additional support for individuals with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviors in regions of Northwest Europe

Carolien B. Lunenborg*, H. Nakken, B.F. Van der Meulen, A.J.J.M. Ruijssenaars

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


One in 10 individuals with intellectual disability (ID) exhibits behaviors that represent a significant challenge to the people who support them. Parents and staff (such as direct support professionals) often are challenged in trying to find a solution to overcome or reduce these behaviors. A form of additional professional support (i.e., external consultative services) can be helpful in managing such challenging behaviors. Yet, there is little knowledge about the use of such "additional support." As part of a broader study in the Netherlands into the nature of additional support for individuals with ID who manifest challenging behaviors, a study was undertaken to determine if additional professional support in other regions of northwestern Europe occurs and, if so, how was it organized. The authors found a diversity of approaches addressing additional support services. In most regions, there is no general formal policy on providing such support for individuals with ID, their parents, or care staff. Instead, either a range of local initiatives were developed (operating under various names) or there were no initiatives. In these instances, persons with ID or their carers had to rely on regular support services to address their mental health needs. The authors suggest that organizing additional support as part of a formal services will increase the likelihood that, when regular support has failed, individuals with ID or their carers will be able to obtain supports to find solutions for reducing problematic challenging behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2011


  • additional support
  • challenging behavior
  • consultation
  • intellectual disability
  • severe problem behavior

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