When should I choose this area of focus for my Gabadoo?

There are a number of reasons why your child may engage in a specific behaviour and we are here to support your family with positive strategies and support in order to reduce the impact of these behaviours on your child and family's well-being.

Behaviour has a function and it is often a way for children to communicate with us, even if you really just want them to stop doing it. Our team can help you to take a moment to pause in order to allow you to be curious about a behaviour & what it may be communicating. By doing this, you will be able to find strategies and supports that can help support your child's overall development. 

Our team can help support you with this area through Gabadoo. 

Reading this blog is vital to help you understand if another 'Area of Focus' for your Gabadoo may be more appropriate. 


Gabadoo is not suitable to support your family if you are looking for support around self-harming behaviours, eating disorders, suicidal feelings or thoughts, sexual abuse, physical abuse, advice on medication or management of medication. We advise that you link with your service provider or contact your family doctor/G.P immediately to raise your concerns and seek support for these areas. 

If you feel your child's behaviour is driven by a need to seek out certain sensory input to help them feel calm or alert, there is a separate 'Area of Focus' for sensory processing which you can read about here. E.g. If you are looking for support around mouthing non-food objects, chewing objects or clothing, making sounds, moving their body in a repetitive way or stimming, boisterous play, melt-downs as a result of sensory input (e.g. certain sounds, clothing, specific environments), smearing in the bathroom, playing with saliva, grinding teeth or biting on hands & many more - sensory processing is a more appropriate 'Area of Focus' to choose.

There is a separate 'Area of Focus' for concentration, which you can read about here

If you feel your child's behaviour is as a result of difficulty with communicating their needs or wants, expressive language might be a more appropriate choice for your 'Area of Focus' so that you can support their communication skills and reduce their overall frustration. 

If your child is becoming frustrated, avoidant or upset during specific tasks, really think about what these tasks might be. If you notice that it is always when your child is doing handwriting, dressing, feeding, during bed-times or learning a new gross motor skill, one of these 'Areas of Focus' might be more appropriate to select as this behaviour may be communicating a skill difficulty. 

There is also a separate 'Area of Focus' for emotional self-regulation which might be more appropriate as a choice for your child aswell. This would be your 'Area of Focus' if you want to support your child's ability to express and understand their emotions and guidance around helping them to self-regulate their emotions in situations so that they can return to tasks or cope with daily demands. 

How do I know if Behaviour should be my 'Area of Focus' for my Gabadoo?

Here are some behaviours or situations you might see at home, you may be looking for support with one or more areas. 

As a family, we need support around reducing screen-time.

As a family, we need support around adopting healthy routines and habits. 

My child needs support around adopting healthier routines and habits.

My child finds it difficult to cope with any verbal demands placed on him throughout the day. 

I'm looking for some strategies to support smoother transitions throughout the day e.g. from home to school, house to car etc.

My child has frequent tantrums which impacts on everyday life.

My child won't follow directions or rules but they do understand them. 

My child will often engage in a lot of physical aggression including kicking, hitting, pinching, slapping and throwing things.

My child tries to deliberately annoy and aggravate others.

There are frequent arguments daily which is impacting on the family's well-being.

My child engages in frequent lying which is impacting on their relationships with others.

My child avoids and resists everyday ordinary demands.

My child needs support around obsessive behaviours relating to people, places or objects. 

My child can be impulsive. 

It is difficult to encourage my child to engage in less-preferred activities. 

My child experiences separation anxiety which impacts on their ability to cope with everyday routines. 

My child can be defiant and they have trigger words like 'no or stop'.

My child is a flight risk when we leave the house. 

My child is finding it difficult to cope with a change including moving house or the arrival of a baby brother or sister. 

You also want to think about how this behaviour is impacting on your child's ability to cope day to day and include this information in your Gabadoo e.g. My child finds it hard to cope with any demands in the morning so we are always late and stressed going into school. 

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home.

The space available within your house and outside spaces including a garden, farm or playgrounds. 

Your daily routine including school hours, drop offs, child-care and free time in the evening and at the weekends so our team provide activities that are achievable for your routine. 

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

What type of activities do they seek out?

What are some of their sensory preferences (e.g. swinging, tickling, climbing, cuddling, music, singing)?

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to their development or behaviour? If so, what was the outcome?

What have you tried before in relation to managing behaviour at home? What was successful? 

What does your child use as their method of communication? e.g. gestures, words, PECs, Lamh.

Make sure to include:

What you have seen at home and how is this impacting on your child or your family? Be very descriptive and provide a situation if needed e.g. when my child is asked to.... 

Include where your child displays these behaviours most frequently e.g. at family events, at home, in school and with whom? Is there a difference in your child's behaviour at school and at home?

What have you used at home? Include books, toys etc. so we aren't recommending things you have already tried. 

Very Important to Include: What would you like to gain from this Gabadoo? E.g. I would like to get strategies to support...

    Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be.

    What support will I receive for my child?

    Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in supporting families with behaviour. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to support your child. 

    So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'


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