DIRECT SUPPORT from a manager's Viewpoint is about answering the frequent how-to questions of direct support. It offers completely new approaches to working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (special needs) by clearly providing readers with understanding of routines, of dealing with challenges arising from individual uniqueness, and of an easy-to-master art of engagement in a way that makes practical application of the new approaches possible. The book utilizes real-life direct support scenarios to demonstrate ways of developing and delivering individualized staff actions, and applying the Opportunity Approach to understand and empower a person with special needs. Through enriched visuals and diagrams, the book tackles and demystifies the harder questions of the capacity-preference disparities, providing readers with navigation techniques and the golden rule of deriving preferences for those people who cannot overtly express their needs. The book also makes it easier to appreciateof working with any given direct support situation by equipping readers with ways to initiate and maintain direct interaction through stimulation and opportunity leads by concisely highlighting the context, the process, the problem and solution of typical direct support encounters.
The book was inspired by a direct support professional whose newness but demonstrated interest in the field led her to ask many questions and quest to know everything from the context of support, to the process and approach of delivery, to the outcome of direct support, and wanting to know why direct support outcomes themselves are not independently usable until they are further investigated and applied to the developing realities of the special needs person.
Most books on working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities only provide general advice. On the other hand, subject specific references offer only policy-centric interpretation of the direct support process, but fail to explain the overall contexts of what actually takes place on the ground or provide any problem-solving process. This book does all threeit provides the context, the process, and problem resolution. Written by a manager who grew through the ranks of direct support, this book is an invaluable guide to what really works in direct support. It utilizes real situations that happened during actual direct support process to explain concepts and approaches to navigating, handling and resolving similar situations should it occurred elsewhere in the helping relationship.