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Zelpher Ferguson, Behaviour Detective

Updated: Dec 12, 2022



What's in a name?


I have one of those names that's either very memorable or instantly forgettable!! Sometimes people have seen it, but they can't remember where. I've seen just about every permeation of the letters in emails and the wildest pronunciations. Surely if you know the rule of "ph" as in elephant, it can't be that difficult can it?! Professionally I've been nicknamed "The Child Whisperer" and "The Lady with the Tortoise".


Since launching my business in April 2022, the nickname "Behaviour Detective" has been used a number of times. It's accurate in that I do a lot of drilling down to see where the issues I'm dealing with originate; I don't make snap judgements as getting it wrong can have significant repercussions. It's also important for me to find out as much as I can about the child's earliest experiences; any attachment issues, trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that may have a reverberating effect on behaviour if not addressed in early childhood. Children and parents have always been happy to provide the information I've requested; as have school staff and professionals.

Terence is a puppet I use regularly in my work

to help children learn about 'soft spots'.


A conversation I had during a networking event led to me rethinking my job title. I was told that "consultant" has connotations of a transient advisor with fleeting knowledge but not necessarily any specialism. However, having made children's behaviour a focus in my teaching career of 29 years (so far), with eight years working for two local authorities in this field, I consider it to absolutely be a specialism!!


So taking this into consideration, I canvassed my friends and professional contacts to devise an alternative job title and these are the results:

Behaviour ...

~ Analyst ~ Analyst and Advisor ~ Analyst and Solution Provider

~ Coach ~ Co-ordinator ~ Educator and Advisor

~ Enforcer ~ Know It All ~ Leader

~ Practitioner ~ Processor ~ Specialist Teacher

~ Strategist ~ Support Assistant ~ Therapist


Some of these suggestions don't relate to my role at all and others don't describe my role adequately. I'd have to explain what I do an awful lot for the understanding of others. So, I'm open to other ideas; if you have a preference or even a better alternative let me know.




There is motivation in every behaviour, it's my job to find out what that motivation is.




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