Understanding difficult behavior in children with disabilities is very common! You are not alone!

What experts call ‘behavior management’ is not about punishing or demoralizing your child. Instead, it’s a way to set boundaries and communicate expectations in a nurturing, loving way. Discipline — correcting kids’ actions, showing them what’s right and wrong, what’s acceptable and what’s not — is one of the most important ways that all parents can show their kids that they love and care about them.


If you are trying to understand difficult behavior in your child or teen due to a developmental disability, this 4-session class may be for you. Participation is limited to families who live in Santa Clara County with children ages 0 – 17. Attendance is limited to 8 families to allow for confidential sharing and discussion.  

To get the full benefit of this wonderful program, plan to attend all sessions.

Discussion topics include:

  • What is behavior? What are the four functions of behavior?
  • Analyzing patterns of behavior and A-B-C techniques.
  • Logging and interventions
  • Family values and creating a positive environment
  • Assertive discipline
  • Self-care for caregivers
  • Practice using real-life scenarios you encounter with your child

Understanding Difficult Behavior in Children with Disabilities is offered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Please contact us for more information.

Need additional help understanding difficult behavior in your child? Connect with parents in similar situations in one of PHP’s many support groups, on PHP social media channels, or link up with a mentor parent.

Understood for All, Inc. is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, and those who “learn and think differently.” Here are 3 resources offered by them that might be of help if you are dealing with challenging behaviors.

  1. Online Article: “Why kids act out” by Julie Rawe includes quick tips, common reasons, and deeper dive information for those who want/need to know more about this complex issue.
  2. Podcast:  “What Now? A Parent’s Guide” is a how-to podcast that helps you handle common behavior challenges like a pro. Psychologist Dr. Andrew Kahn hosts Season 1, which looks at tantrums and meltdowns. Each episode takes less than 10 minutes and helps you fit these parenting strategies into your life whenever you need them. Practical strategies. Expert insights. Bite-size episodes.
  3. Wunder app: This handy does many things including offering a behavior tracker that allows you to keep track of emerging patterns. Log your child’s behavior with a few clicks and see patterns emerge with Wunder’s “Behavior Tracker” exercise. Find out what might be fueling the challenging behavior, and get personalized insights and tips based on your family’s needs — all for free.

This program is sponsored in part by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Santa Clara County Child Abuse Prevention Services.