A colleague reflected the discomfort telling us of the father of a 15-year-okd who had described his son a like a two-year-old… such a provocative comment… so many feelings and thoughts.
Using analogies to infants and children in the intellectual disability world… seems so often to go hand in hand with a tacit response, unspoken but shared.
But not all responses are the same. Not all intentions in uttering the words are the same. Not all interpretations of meaning are the same.
Hoping we can have a conversation to explore the use of age analogies, not to come to the “right” answer, but to understand different perspectives and the thinking (surface and deep) underlying the feelings.
I know I often stand as an outlier in using analogies of age. I know I need to unpack why I do this, and whether I should continue to do so. Can I encourage you to share your thoughts here on this often contentious topic… I will share some of my thoughts as a comment, as to keep the starter post neutral.
I had the pleasure of spending a day at WALCA in Bexley, NSW, last week.
There were many things about the service that make me suggest they are approaching best practice.
Most notable was their InterCom service in IGLO:). This part of the day service included two staff dedicated to supporting the communication of the service users. The staff had built particular expertise in Intensive Interaction and other communication strategies. They had an area of the day service where they could bring clients for one to one work. In addition, they had other staff spend a day in the part of the service so that they could model and share what they’d learnt.
They showed and discussed a video that they had made of the work. They impressed me with their ability to describe the outcomes for service users and how these had been bought about: people who were now taking turns in sound play, people who had started the service screaming most of the day and now smiling in interactions… Very impressive, and showing the value of day services when time is dedicated to staff learning and nurturing their ability to bring about and describe outcomes.