Here are some ideas to help you and everyone get along with people who have developmental disabilities. I collected these while visiting a friend. I looked these ideas over and realized that these ideas are great for getting along with everyone . . . not just people with developmental disabilities - in almost any situation. See if you're already using some of these in your work areas. If not, you should be.
Tips and Suggestons:
- SMILE and be friendly.
- Focus on abilities, not disabilities.
- Remember a person is a person first with a disability second.
- Be positive, have a good attitude and be patient.
- Encourage by praising good behavior.
- Assist by explainging what to do, rather than what not to do.
- Make instructions simple and clear.
- Speak clearly, and slowly, be specific.
- Talk to and with people - not at them.
- Redirect challenging behavior.
- Establish routines and prepare people in advance for unexpected changes in routine.
- Be observant and aware.
- Establish limitations and maintain them.
- Be fast, firm and fair.
- Be consistent.
- Keep the atmosphere relaxed and happy.
- Be aware of your voice tone.
- Provide opportunities for choice, decision making, to express oneself.
- Encourage confidence and self-esteem.
- Learn new skills and develop leisure interests.
- Reduce stress and decrease aggression.
- Increase communication skills.
- Provide ways to release excess energy.
- Provide opportunities to experience challenge.
- Improve overall quality of life, making life happier more meaningful and worthwhile.
People with developmental disabilities are still people . . . and they are people first and foremost . . . as we all are. Should we treat anyone any more differently? People are people . . . and we all have feelings.
Author Don Doman: Don is a published author of books for small business, corporate video producer, and owner of Ideas and Training (http://www.ideasandtraining.com ), which provides business training products. Don also owns and Human Resources Radio (http://www.humanresourcesradio.com ), which provides business training programs and previews 24-hours a day.