Working with the Developmentally Disabled

Make your experience a rewarding one while learning and caring for individuals with special needs. Below are some strategies to help a caregiver course through the delicate yet fulfilling experience of caring for the disabled:

a) An adult with a developmental disability has opinions about events, people and places. Encourage him to share this information with you and his peers. Allowing someone with developmental disabilities to share his opinion encourages self-esteem and productivity.

b) Every instruction that you give someone with a developmental disability should be clear. Give him step-by-step instructions. When he finishes the first step, tell him the second. Do not leave any details out of the instruction.

c) Offer a social group for the adult with developmental disabilities. Peers will help form positive social skills.

d) When teaching someone with developmental disabilities, use hands-on activities to help her understand. Make sure these activities are simple enough to comprehend. If possible, do the activity together while guiding her.

e) When you talk to the person with a developmental disability, look her in the eye. This helps the person form a relationship with you. A person with a developmental disability needs to feel like she matters. Looking her in the eye will also show her that you are not deterred by her disability.




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