Not very long-ago, society expected people with disability to adjust to societal norms. These norms were based on what was considered typical development and any deviation was considered an impairment.
Thankfully, more recent policy, research and practice is working towards celebrating and encouraging the unique perspectives, needs, and expectations of each individual. This has set the expectation that before any behaviour is suggested for modification, the purpose of the behaviour is understood across different settings, and that any behaviour change will support the quality of life of each individual and the people who care for them, rather than making the individual ‘more like everybody else’.
Modifying behaviour can be difficult for a number of reasons and it starts with the understanding that to best support the people we care for we need to stop trying to ‘change’ them and work towards understanding their view of the world and adjusting what we do ourselves.
It often means a change in the way we as parents, carers, teachers and other support people design the environment, respond to the behaviours we want to see more or less of, and knowing when a behaviour is okay just as it is.
It is important that we work towards understanding the purpose of a behaviour, so that we learn how best to respond and what skills are needed for the individual to express their needs in a more adaptive manner.
To do this well, parents, teachers and other care givers also need to feel supported and understood – and having the right professional support is key!
To find the right support services, ask people you trust for recommendations, meet with professionals to see if you have a compatible approach, and ask questions to clarify any concerns, goals and expectations. If, through this process, you are still unsure about your compatibility with the service provider, let them know. They may be able to recommend another service or professional that is compatible.
As a registered allied health NDIS Service Provider, Beam Health‘s psychologists, speech pathologists and community professionals provide assessment, therapy, behaviour support, support coordination and group programs and workshops through a number of registration groups.
Beam Health would love the opportunity to discuss your needs, the services we provide, and compatibility of our approach. Come by our booth at the Hunter Disability Expo for a casual chat or email us, or call us on (02) 4954 9333.
– Kathleen Doolan, Senior Psychologist, Beam Health
- Friday and Saturday, October 26/27, 9am-3pm
- Newcastle Jockey Club, Broadmeadow
- FREE entry. Register here to attend the Hunter Disability Expo
- Over 100 disability providers, advisers and agencies