The Conscious Care & Support (CCS) Five-Step Process
When emergency responders arrive on the scene of an accident, they know exactly what to do: ABC—airways, breathing, circulation.
Those of us who care for individuals with Autism/DD are also often emergency responders, and we too need to know exactly what to do. The CCS process is our automatic five-step emergency response. Our graduates learn to apply it in situations ranging from low-stress conflict to high-stress aggression. As a result, their response is calm, conscious and compassionate.
These steps are a learned set of skills, the culmination of the whole CCS program of understanding the best practice through constant research and developing capacity through “B-FIT” Mindfulness practice.
Step One: CATCH
Catching oneself “here, now” and having an enhanced awareness of one’s sensations and thoughts in the “present moment”.
Step Two: CALM
Not impulsively reacting to any thought or feeling but intentionally calming one’s self through the B-Fit mindfulness practice; as a result, the individual receiving support also becomes calm.
Step Three: CLARIFY AND CHOOSE
Objectively assessing the needs of the individual, and choosing the best possible response, based on knowledge of best practices and understanding of the person supported.
Step FOUR: CONSCIOUSLY CONNECT
Being present with the individual you are supporting—really seeing them—and being respectful, kind and caring, even if the individual’s response makes it very difficult to feel that way.
Step FIVE: CARING AND COMPETENT SERVICES
Ensuring that one’s actions throughout the interaction with the individual with Autism/DD are not only mindful and compassionate, but also authentic, timely and effective.
Michele Chaban, Director, AMM, Factor-Inwentash School of Social Work, University of Toronto