Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties present some of the most serious barriers to children and young people interacting with others and engaging with learning. They are also one of the most common causes of stress for school staff. If children who face behavioural barriers are to achieve their learning potential, their problems need to be identified, understood and responded to with optimal effectiveness. Intuitive and user-friendly, SNAP-B brings to behavioural, emotional and social difficulties the insights and practical strategies which the original SNAP brought to specific learning difficulties. By identifying the core problem area(s) for each child, SNAP-B enables school staff to be more focused and effective in supporting pupils with behavioural difficulties at home and at school. The SNAP-B computer-aided package 'maps' a pupil's own mix of problems on to an overall matrix of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Designed for ages 5--16, it enables the SENCO or learning support team to carry out structured assessments which pull together information from home and school. From this, clusters and patterns of behaviours help to pinpoint core problem areas.At the heart of SNAP-B is a bank of carefully-targeted questions that profile twelve problem areas under three broad headings: * conflict with self (anxiety, sadness, anger, etc) * conflict with peers (attention seeking, bullying, etc) * conflict with adults (defiance, lying, etc).
The questions are presented in the Pupil Assessment Pack in questionnaire booklets -- for completion by pupil, parent and teacher(s) -- for collation, analysis and profiling using the CD-ROM. The User's Kit provides full information for administering the package and interpreting the computer-generated profile. The focus is upon identifying specific skills a learner needs to be successful, rather than speculating about possible causes of any behaviour. For pupils whose difficulties are already established, it means that Individual Education Plan (IEPs) can become significantly more directed and effective. The personalised information sheets generated by SNAP-B give practical advice and coping strategies to classroom teachers and to parents -- without the over-emphasis on adult control that ultimately prevents pupils taking responsibility for their own behaviour.SNAP-B will also be of value to educational psychologists and healthcare professionals involved in assessing or responding to SEBDs -- to anyone indeed who wants to be able to support children and young people by interpreting their behaviour not as a medical condition, but as communicating need.
Rob Long is an educational psychologist, trainer and consultant on pupils with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. Charles Weedon is Head of Learning Support, George Watson's College, Edinburgh.