Challenging Behaviours and Learning Difficulties

At times, all parents feel at a loss to understand what their child might be needing from them. This is normal. The vast array of options to address a child’s challenging behaviours and learning difficulties can leave many of us feeling totally confused. 

Child Behaviour as the Tip of an Iceberg

Challenging behaviours are like the tip of an iceberg. When we look beneath the surface we can explore the reasons for the behaviour. For example, on the surface, we might see a restless and impulsive child. Underneath this, the part we don’t see, might be a child who is easily overwhelmed by crowds or loud noises.

Your child’s early sensory and motor development provides the building blocks for learning. When earlier stages are incomplete, children often struggle to keep up with their peers.  The result is not only delays in classroom learning, but can also damage  confidence and self esteem.

Addressing the “why” beneath your child’s challenging behaviour

Parenting a child with learning and behavioural challenges isn’t easy. Supporting you is an essential part of helping your child. Individual counselling sessions are your time to feel heard and understood, and we will work together to help both you and your family.

The Circle of Security Parenting program has helped many parents to build closer relationship with their children. This program is based on many decades of research, and will help you to strengthen secure family connections. You will learn how to read your child’s emotional needs, and how to support them.

The course comprises 8 weekly sessions, each 1 to 1.5 hours. These can be arranged at a time to suit you and/or your partner. Parent Feedback  has been very positive, with many commenting how this program has changed their lives.

You Know Your Child Can Hear, but How Well Can They Listen?

Learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, are often linked to listening and auditory memory. You know your child can hear, but how well can they listen, and understand what they are hearing? Listening also affects the way we socialise, and poor listening can damage self esteem.

Restless in the classroom is often a sign that a child is struggling with auditory processing. The ability to listen is linked to their sense of balance, and you might have noticed that they need to move in order to listen. They may also struggle with emotional balance.

Links Between Developmental Delay, Learning and Behavioural Challenges

Research shows strong links between

  • learning difficulties,
  • challenging behaviours,
  • developmental delay and
  • overwhelm during infancy and early childhood. 

We have all experienced  the stress of bushfires and a global pandemic in the last 18 months. As a result, it is likely that we will see an increase in learning difficulties and challenging behaviours in many children.

Wouldn’t it be good if all children could be tested  for developmental readiness on school entry? This could identify the potential for learning and behavioural challenges before they become major issues.

Children notice when they can’t keep up with their peers, and they don’t understand why. They often become frustrated, often acting out, or shutting themselves away. Neither response is helpful for learning.


A PACFA accredited Holistic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Rosalind is also a Registered NDIS Provider, Circle of Security Facilitator and approved Victims Services Counsellor.

Sessions are available in person at Moruya South Head, and online via zoom.

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