“The more you do, the less you get!”
Many children with autism, intellectual or multiple disabilities may initially, at least, have many different behaviours of concern – frequently, quite challenging.
Behaviour modification, like for most children, is most effective when undertaken as early as possible.
Disappointingly, there are many parents who believe those with limited intellectual ability are unable to learn and accept what behaviours are acceptable and not acceptable.
Whereas, there is ample proof throughout medical and psychological research that brain plasticity can provide ample replacement avenues, given adequate behaviour management training is provided for the person.
Those parents who do little on the grounds that learning is difficult or impossible for a child with limited understanding, are leaving the child to become an adult in a world they have not been encouraged and supported to understand.
Gradually these parents and their other family members discover they are unable to enjoy a normal lifestyle, culminating in the family being stressed to breaking point and seeking alternative accommodation for their, now, adult family member with behaviours of concern.
There is some comfort for such families, in that those with the most challenging behaviours are recognised as getting first consideration for a supported accommodation group home.
Nevertheless, suitable accommodation settings, such as supported accommodation group homes being in very short supply, families stressed to breaking point may resort to leaving their family member at respite, at best, that they will then quickly get permanent placement in a group home.
In total contrast, there are those parents who decided that their family member with limited intellectual ability must have at least a basic understanding of acceptable behaviour - and set themselves the task to achieve this from their child’s early age.
Although these parents have the comfort their now adult family member is better for their early behaviour intervention, personal care and quality of life care, they have little comfort as they age to no longer be able to provide care and support themselves, as their behaviour management work makes them very low priority for any form of relief from providing 24/7 care - such as a supported accommodation group home for their family member.
LIFESTYLE IN SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION (LISA) INC.
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