Five Things You Can Do

“Five Things You Can Do,” is a list of things you can think about and do when you are supporting a person whose behavior is troubling you.

This is not a list of “quick fix” strategies for stopping unwanted behavior. It is a list of ideas for uncovering the real things that a person might need so that you can be more supportive.

This module includes video presentations from David Pitonyak and Peter Leidy.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to

– Explain the importance of getting to know the person.

– Understand that all behavior is meaningful.

– Describe the need for people to have a support plan.

– Consider your own support needs.

– Explain why we should always assume competence.

Learn more about all of our modules here.

The largest part of David Pitonyak’s work involves meeting people who are said to exhibit “difficult behaviors.”  Most of these people exhibit difficult behaviors because they are misunderstood and/or because they are living lives that don’t make sense.  Of they are lonely, powerless, or without joy.  Often they feel devalued by others or lack the kinds of educational experiences that most of us take for granted.  Too often their troubling behaviors are the result of an illness, or even a delayed response to traumatic events.  You might say their behaviors are “messages” which can tell us important things about their lives.  Learning to listen to the person’s difficult behaviors is the first step in helping the person to find a new (and healthier) story.

Peter Leidy has been learning from people with disabilities since 1983.  Leidy is a consultant, facilitator, listener, learner, improviser, and speaker who focuses on personalized supports and community membership for people with disabilities.  Leidy promotes positive support, inclusion, building healthy relationships and thinking differently about people who are called “challenging.”