Epistemology and learning disabilities: Invited commentary on Hastings and Remington Academic Article uri icon


  • The effect on service provision of describing a variety of actions as challenging behaviour is discussed: it is suggested that studying stereotyped, aggressive and self-injurious acts in their own right has yielded more useful psychological debate, and ignoring such conceptual thinking leads to implicit theorizing where assumptions go unquestioned. Evidence for the relevance of staff actions on different topographies of client responses is critically reviewed, alongside discussion of the authors' rhetoric. The importance of adjusting language and frameworks to make room for alternative conceptualizations is discussed. The article concludes by recommending that research into staff attitudes and actions will be better served by reflexive methods and reporting which emphasize mutuality.

publication date

  • November 1994