Building capacity in supporters
Who is offering support when our mind and heart are someplace else?
With practice to develop mindfulness, we can learn to relate to others authentically and compassionately regardless of how we feel or think about them or the situation.
Regardless of the setting, a supporter’s ability to offer optimal care and support to individuals with Autism/DD can be broken down into several components:
- WHAT is said: the meaning of the words.
- HOW it is said: the tone, cadence, body language.
- WHAT is done: the implementation of protocols and best practices.
- HOW it is done: with respect, skill and timeliness.
However, everything that is said and done to support an individual is dependent on the last component: the person WHO is saying and doing. In order to provide optimal support this person must have mindful presence, unconditional respect, balanced emotional energy, conscious intentions and compassion. CCS is designed to build this capacity by building what we see as essential human competencies.
Although all existing six approved mandatory crisis intervention certification courses recommend that supporters “stay calm,” none offers a systematic skills’ development process like CCS to achieve mindful, emotional self-regulation.
Chris Gefucia Director of Residential Services, Kitchener-Waterloo Habilitation
The five essential competencies
- B-FIT Mindfulness: a specific, mindfulness practice designed to build capacity for consistent, calm response;
- Discovering and disengaging from your roots of vulnerability: understanding your personal triggers so they can no longer hijack your emotions;
- Evidence-based emotional energy balancing: calming and de-escalation procedures for self and the person supported;
- Intentional and intuitive “non-doing” communications skills: using entrainment and intention to communicate calm and well-being;
- Finding and sustaining meaning, purpose and heart: recognizing the true value and fulfillment available in the work you do.
The graphic below shows the balance between the needs of the individual with ASD and the personal development needs of the person supporting them, be that in a classroom, a home or a care facility.