Seven Ways to Cause a Crisis

The song ‘Seven Ways to Cause a Crisis’ highlight what do we do that actually causes a crisis to happen in someone’s life?

What do we (ie: support staff, team, system. support plan) unintentionally do that causes crisis in the people lives that we support? Are we sometimes the cause of the very behaviors or actions that we are complaining about or that we may be wishing to change? Although we do not do this purposefully, we do though sometimes fail to pay attention to some fundamentally important parts of people’s lives. And when those fundamental things are being ignored, it is the perfect opportunity for something to go really wrong. We, as direct support professionals need to be aware of the relationships, homes, safety, support, choice and control of the people we support to help prevent a crisis from occuring.


Are you training staff that are new to the field? Check out our module “Introduction to Your Role”. This module , written by David Pitonyak, provides the perfect platform to embed understanding, respect, and person-centered values. Having spent most of his career working with people who are said to exhibit “difficult behaviors”, Pitonyak explains that most people exhibit difficult behaviors because they are misunderstood and/or because they are living lives that don’t make sense.  “Introduction to Your Role” is a great module to help your new and experienced training staff help the people they support better.

This module offers a succinct introduction to the role of the support staff person, and therefore is a great starting place for new employees and people who are new to the field.

This module includes video presentations from Lynda Kahn, Gary Kent, Sam Sly, Dave Hingsburger, David Hasbury, Simon Haywood, Marc Tumeinski, Beth Mount, Bernard Carabello, Simon Duffy, and Margaret Cushen.

On successful completion of this module, learners will be able to:

– Define and describe a developmental disability and its causes.

– Describe other commonly associated conditions.

– Explain how a developmental disability can impact the person’s life.

– Describe a range of experiences that impact the person’s life including segregation, congregation, negative perception and treatment, socal devaluation, loneliness, poor health, poverty and abuse.

– Explain the importance of the person’s history and the involvement of their family.

– Define John O’Brien’s five valued experiences and explain how they can support a good and meaningful life.

– Using the Code of Ethics developed by the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals you will be able to explain the purpose of the following concepts and how they refer to your role:

person-centered support

promoting physical and emotional well-being

integrity and responsibility



justice, fairness, and equity


self determination

To ask questions or for information about our free trial please email


Five More Things You Can Do

David Pitonyak is back with another five things you can do to support someone who has behavior that is challenging.  

When the person you support is going through a difficult time, friendships, a positive identity, fairness, and fun are commonly neglected.  Using a series of memorable short stories, Pitonyak will help you learn why these principles are so important and what you can do to develop them.

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

– Understand the importance of relationships, contribution, and goal setting.

– Explain how you can help people develop a positive identity.

– Describe how you can support relationships based on choice and fairness.

– Explain the importance of and describe how you can help eple have more fun in their lives.


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.

Enjoy this great excerpt from the module:

Watch the full trailer below:

Try Everything We Do

Our free trial provides complete access to our entire resource of Side by Side and Staff Learning Modules as well as our full Video On Demand library of films. If you have any questions in the interim please do not hesitate to let me know via