There is a big push here in Pennsylvania to work more towards a true inclusive community. If your loved one receives support services, there is a goal for these services being provided in the local community setting for 75% of that individual’s day. It is a noble goal, and something that seems like common sense. But, for those of us with individuals with challenging behaviors, it also sounds really scary. We want to ensure that our loved ones are accepted as valued members of their community, but we also want them AND others to be safe. So, what can we as teachers and service providers do to make this dream a reality?
This is part 1 of a 4 part series during which I share some tips and suggestions for successful community outings in the face of challenging behaviors. At the end of each post, there will be a FREE download to help you take this information and put it into action.
Part 1 of this series focuses on getting to know the person. I am talking about REALLY getting to know the person. This will take some time, but that is okay. Especially if there is a history of struggles in the community, families will appreciate the fact you are willing to take a step back and really try to understand the situation. This also means talking to lots of people:
- the individual
- extended family
- community members who know the individual
Of course, all this is done with permission of the individual and the parents. However, if we really want to understand why this behavior occurs and how we can be most successful, we need to gather information from as many sources as possible.
So, take a look at the list of questions I have provided by clicking here or on the image below. You can never know too much about the person you are working with.