Dealing with children with EBD (emotional and behavioural difficulties) may be seen as an intractable and frustrating task for teachers. The difficulties are genuine. But EBD is often engendered or worsened by the environment, including schools' or teachers' responses. Schools have a significant effect on children's behaviour, and vary widely in the extent to which they help children overcome their difficulties. (DfEE 1994b)
The same statements could be applied to pupils with challenging behaviours who can exhibit social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (or any combination of these elements). Pupils who are disaffected also fall within the umbrella of challenging behaviour. The term 'challenging behaviours' has a more positive emphasis as it prompts us as teachers and professionals working with the pupils to 'rise to the challenge' rather than see the problems as lying within the pupil. O'Brien (1998) has summarised another positive aspect of the term 'challenging behaviour':
The term is open to whole-school definition, and thus can also be identified in school policy as behaviour that requires extra support from the school management team. (O'Brien 1998) Both terms have been used in this book (emotional and behavioural
difficulties and challenging behaviours), as they seemed appropriate for that section or point. A pupil who is exhibiting challenging behaviour is undoubtedly finding that this leads to social, emotional and behavioural problems or difficulties for them at that time. Equally pupils 'diagnosed' as having emotional and behavioural difficulties are generally presenting challenging behaviours to those around them. This book offers strategies for working with pupils whose behaviour is seen as challenging in whatever form.