An Empowering Code of Ethics

Autism Community Center of Asheville

“Well, do you want your DS?” asks a one-on-one worker at an activity group I’m leading for the Autism Community Center of Asheville.
“Yeah”, is the response.
“Ok, it’s in the car. Do you want me to get it for you?”

…and this is when I start grinding my teeth. There are a lot of wonderful things about 1:1 services, but an over-dependence on constantly having a personal adult is not one of them. I am too-often reminded of governesses and servants when I watch these failed attempts at professional relationships unfold. Adults who are supposed to be teaching, guiding, and demonstrating independence end up descending into the role of carrier-of-stuff, fetcher-of-forgotten objects, and fall-guy for bad tempers.

To be fair, I’ve totally found myself in this all-purpose, waitress type of role in several of my early direct care jobs. Most places don’t train you how to stay professional, and to empower individuals in 100 small ways each day, instead of taking over.

Saying ‘YOU do it’, is empowering for both sides of a relationship. Should the direct care staff in the example above notice that a kid left his DS behind? Yes. Should said staff be able to predict later trauma when the missing DS is discovered. Yes. Does that mean the direct care staff should trot off to produce the thing? Definitely not.

Instead, consider the following:
“Well, do you want your DS?” asks a one-on-one worker at an activity group I’m leading for the Autism Community Center of Asheville.
“Yeah”, is the response.
“Cool. Go get it.”

In this scenario, the kid is encouraged for knowing what he wants, and empowered to do something about it.
If this conversation is (later) followed up with the implementation of some system for remembering items, then THAT is something I’m totally willing to pay tax dollars for. I’m not as interested in paying for endless babysitting.

I have seen many, many healthy direct care scenario’s (especially at the Autism Society of NC), with professional staff, and good supervision, and I believe that having really good one-on-one support can help people learn to do stuff for themselves…but only when we refrain from doing stuff for them.

 

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Empower Autism
By empowering people (with and without autism) to independently live the lives they choose, we can increase happines & diversity & decrease boredom & dependancy
Empower Autism

Empower Autism

By empowering people (with and without autism) to independently live the lives they choose, we can increase happines & diversity & decrease boredom & dependancy

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