Are you a provider working in a changing landscape? Do you work with people with dually-diagnosed mental illness and intellectual disabilities? Maybe you’re an autism professional seeking tools for unusual challenges. Or perhaps you’re the leader of an organization dealing with a world of toxic stress and increasing daily challenges. I work with people in many kinds of roles who are looking for common sense approaches to complex problems like the ones you’re facing.
Developmental Disabilities Providers
The people that you support are getting more intense. more complex, and have more unique needs. Problem behaviors are really challenging your staff and pushing some of them away – and you feel like you’re not even supposed to use the word “behavior” because it’s not person-centered. You go to trainings about person-centered thinking and trauma-informed care, and wonder: “How will this work for my people? Have they even met the people I work with?”
Some of the most meaningful work I’ve ever done is with people who have significant mental health, behavioral, and social challenges all happening at the same time. I can help you pull together person-centered thinking, trauma-informed care, autism best practices, and mental health skills into your work, and do it in a way that plays to the strengths of your front-line staff.
When do you lean into the relationship? How do you use visual schedules to reduce anxiety? When do you need to ignore skill building and just focus on feelings? How does the psychiatrist fit in to all of this? The Integrated Behavior Support model bring it all together and helps the team prioritize where to focus each step of the way.
For some of your students and clients, the things that work for everyone else don’t seem to help. There’s something else going on here, but the behavior therapy and psychiatry don’t seem to explain it. It’s like you can’t crack through their need to control of things . . . Or, what helps one day makes everything worse the next day. And that’s if everyone follows the plan.
Autism-smart supports integrate visual communication, sensory processing, skillful intervention, and behavior analysis to help people on the spectrum meaningfully connect with the world around them. Incorporating elements of trauma-informed care and dual diagnosis into your toolbox can help complete the picture for a whole-person approach to complex individuals. Merging it all together, we build a pyramid of supports, to help the team recognize which tool to bring out in each moment.
Your front-line employees keep saying “those folks at the office don’t get what it is we do and how hard we work! They’ve been in the ivory tower too long.” If only they knew what you’ve had to do to keep the doors open these past couple of years. You know it will all come together if everyone would just follow the path — we all know what we need to do, come on people, let’s do it!
I have an approach to working with front-line staff and middle-management that validates their daily concerns, and helps them connect what they’re doing to the agency’s mission and the boss’ goals. We can validate people’s feelings and hold them accountable for procedures. Staff interactions with clients can be friendly and professional. We can provide excellent direct supports and complete the documentation that keeps the program funded. We can promote a good life for front-line staff, clients, leadership, and the surrounding community.
Direct Support Professionals
If you were in it for the money, you would be doing something else. But sometimes, it feels like Groundhog Day — new day, same problems, again and again. You and your co-workers are dealing with intense stuff every day, and that’s before the call-offs. You often wonder, “when is the company going to listen to what we need?!
Whether it’s by instinct or by learning from the school of life, you know what the folks you support need. You know them better than anyone. There are tools I can help you put to work right now to start focusing on thriving and quality of life, rather than just making it through the shift.
Oversight & Government Agencies
Providers are struggling to deal with complex behaviors in a sustainable way. Good conversations happen, but you aren’t seeing positive changes make an impact on the ground the way that they need to, and the system still needs to maintain and build capacity.
People have the way they learn to do things at trainings, and then there’s the way that they learn to approach the mechanics of day-to-day work — and we often struggle to merge those two sides. To make an impact on the ground, curriculum design and training approaches need to (if I may be frank) cut through the BS and barriers and really impact the way people receive services. A practical, integrated approach can build empathy between front-line caregivers and case management teams, cut through the silos when we need to, and keep up with the world’s evolving demands.