My name is Renee. I have worked professionally with people with developmental disabilities since 2002. Currently, I work as a service coordinator at a large Intermediate Care Facility in New York State.
Most of the people I support are unable to speak for themselves. They need many supports from other people to do everything that they need to do in the course of the day. A lot of them have health problems. They are commonly referred to as having a severe or profound intellectual disability.
Over the years, I have been frustrated in my search to find ways to engage the people I work with in meaningful activities that they enjoy, relate to and that are respectful to their status as adults making their way in the world. Frequently, I hear my colleagues relate their frustration in regard to how to apply the principles of person-centered thinking to the world that we work in, and to the people we support. The concept of helping people to live their dreams is frequently answered with a "Yes, but..." This mindset irritates me. We can do better, we need to do better because these folks deserve it. However, to a large extent, I believe the frustration may stem from a lack of resources and concrete examples of how to make this work with the unique individuals that we support.
Based upon that, I decided to create this blog to provide anyone supporting people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities with a resource of ideas and real world techniques to help the people they support to lead interesting, meaningful, lives.