Hi, thanks for posting this question.It’s good to explore these issues on the forum as we can all share thoughts from professional and personal perspectives.
Am I right that you are a support worker or are you a family member? Have you been in touch with the learning disability teams as they have a lot of expertise to offer?
I am posting as a parent of a non-verbal young man who has certainly provided some challenges to us when we are out and about but thanks to great support from his staff team, he is learning new ways of dealing with situations and we have come to learn a lot about how to meet his needs to avoid some of the situations you describe.
I think one of the things that started to help us get things right was understanding his sensory needs as he is on the autistic spectrum.He was referred to an OT who did a lot of detailed work with him to understand his sensory profile.We discovered that he liked deep pressure, as this calmed him and helped him understand where his body is in space.This was a revelation to us.We have explored using a Squease Jacket that you can rent to try out.We also came to realise that he was hitting our elbows/knees as well as his own because he was enjoying deep pressure.
He also finds noises in the supermarket a challenge to him but he has learned in time to tolerate this providing he can just spend a short time choosing his things he wants and then he goes to the cafe for a reward.
I know some friends whose family members use ear defenders to great effect as it reduces the impact of the noise etc. though my son won’t tolerate them on his head.
Each person is an individual and each person’s sensory profile is unique but it really helps you understand how the world feels to that person.
I suspect that when he is at home in the garden he is relaxed because he is not being bombarded by so many sensations that are causing him to get stressed.
Re his energy levels, my son lives with another young person who is very energetic- he is taken for long walks in the countryside each day and also loves water to calm him - things like waterplay/swimming/having a shower calm him.This young man loves the sensations playing with shaving foam too.
I have found my son is very calm if he goes on a boat ride but not on a bus.He also loves steam trains as he loves the sounds and sights and sensations on a train ride.
We also have found that our son is calmer if he knows what is going to happen throughout his day, using photos velcroed to a strip of laminated paper.When an activity is completed we take that photo off so he knows what is coming next.He can see the sequence of the activities and he can also choose between photos so he has control over what he is doing.
You might find some really useful materials on the BILD website about Positive Behavioural Support.
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation also have a lot of very useful fact sheets on behaviours that can be seen as challenging.
I think these are behaviours that are trying to communicate something to us and we have to learn, often by trial and error, to be a detective to find out how to change the environment around the person.Once that is right, it becomes easier to manage the situation.
You might also find it useful to get in touch with someone who is an expert in intensive interaction as this can also lead to great improvements in building a bond of communication with someone who is non-verbal.This link leads to training events in this technique
I hope you’ll keep in touch and let us know how you get on.