teaching a new skill, step by step

Shaping Behaviour is about teaching a new skill, step by step, to increase a young person’s repertoire of skills. This could be to improve independence, change behaviour, or teach an alternate socially appropriate behaviour. By shaping behaviour, step by step, an individual can learn a new skill through the reinforcing of smaller steps towards a larger goal. This works by understanding what reinforces an individual, and then using this to reward each step successfully achieved while combining this with natural reinforcement e.g. praise, high fives, hugs etc…. This is particularly relevant to achieving success in toilet training. Reinforcement is then gradually reduced so more natural reinforcers in the individual’s environment can take over. Shaping Behaviour is not just about improving the lives of the individual who needs support, but also to improve the lives of those around them.

improving the lives of young people

Shaping Behaviour is run by Emma Beynon. Improving the lives of young people and those around them has always been a passion of Emma’s. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an individual’s life changed for the better through learning new skills for independence or changing behaviour to improve social skills. Emma is a qualified and fully registered, practising teacher with over 17 years’ experience working with individuals with learning and communication difficulties, intellectual and physical disabilities, Autism and challenging behaviour in the UK, New Zealand and Australian education systems. During this time, Emma has undertaken private contracts for the Ministry of Health in New Zealand working with families and across different environments.

main focus

Emma’s main focus, is to not only support or teach skills, but to build capacity in others so that skills and behaviour change, can continue long after the support has been implemented. It is Shaping Behaviour’s belief that no matter what the level of ability an individual has, there are always strengths to build on. Emma’s philosophy is that everyone has the ability to change and grow.


  • Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology – Major – Applied Behaviour Analysis
  • Master of Education – Special Education
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Diploma of Teaching
  • Current Teacher Registration
  • Current Blue Card



  • Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Peak Performance
  • Psychology and Mental Health – Beyond Nature and Nurture (current)



  • HOSES (Head of Special Education Services)
  • Head of Department for Students with Disabilities
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Private Consultant for High and Complex Needs Funding (NZ)