Positive behavioural support in schools for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities whose behaviour challenges: an exploration of the economic case

Iemmi V, Knapp M, Brown FJ

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities 2016, 20, 3: 281—295

Available online 24 Feb 2016

Abstract

Decision-makers with limited budgets want to know the economic consequences of their decisions. Is there an economic case for positive behavioural support (PBS)? A small before–after study assessing the impact of PBS on challenging behaviours and positive social and communication skills in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities and behaviours that challenge was followed by an evaluation of costs. Results were compared with the costs of alternative packages of care currently available in England obtained from a Delphi exercise conducted alongside the study. Children and adolescents supported with PBS showed improvement in challenging behaviours and social and communication skills, at a total weekly cost of GBP 1909 (and GBP 1951 including carer-related costs). PBS in schools for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities and behaviours that challenge may help to support them in the community with potential improvements in outcomes and also cost advantages.