Hints For Working with People with Developmental Disabilities

Don Doman

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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.


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