Bottom up and top down approach to children’s behaviour.

Friday Live 30th July 2021

Hey lovely human,

Today on my Friday Livestream chatted about the idea of looking at children’s behaviour from a ‘bottom up’ approach first and then taking a top-down focus. This idea of structuring an approach comes from the book Beyond Behaviours by Mona Delahooke, Using Brian science and compassion to understand and solve children’s behavioural challenges.

What this means is that to understand the function of what we observe as ‘challenging’ or ‘problematic’ behaviour is firstly to look at whether all the developmental and sensory needs of the individual are being met first. Bottom up behaviours come from our reflexive parts of the brain and are not conscious in thought or planning. When children are dysregulating, they are often operating from this primitive part of the brain and are unable to help them by offering top-down solutions. Top-down solutions involve self awareness and learning to apply these to help regulate our bodies and minds. But successfully doing this should occur after attention has been given to what could be affecting regulation from a bottom up lens. So looking to see if developmental needs, body needs and sensory needs are being met first. For top down approaches to be effective the individual needs to be able to apply these to themselves to regulate. So it also involves learning about the connection between our mind and bodies-mindfulness awareness of this is a great place to start once we have completed bottom up interventions.

If you’d like to catch my brief video, click the video below.

Talk with you soon,

Kate x

Published by Kate French

Clinical Psychologist; expertise in autism and child and family psychology.

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