Have you ever met someone with a developmental disability? Having a developmental disability means that you have a chronic condition that is caused by mental or physical impairments. Children, even adults, experience difficulty with their lifestyle due to this kind of condition. It may be exhausting and a little bit awkward to take care of a patient, especially if you are not that close to him/her. Worry no more because through reading three helpful tips on interacting with developmentally disabled adults, you will surely deal with patients of the like without any trouble.
Approach him/her when you catch his/her eye.
For instance, adults with developmental disability are not that keen on communicating their thoughts or emotions. Pay attention to his/her body language: like staring at you frequently, poking you, making mumbling sounds softly, or trying to catch your attention by behaving unusually. Approach him/her and ask if he/she would like anything. Talk to him/her to see if this meets his/her needs.
If he/she makes you uncomfortable, change your strategy or tell them honestly.
For example, adults who are developmentally disabled may become too comfortable with you that you feel the discomfort crawling on to you. This is normal since some of these patients might touch you, hug you, play with you, or even form love/attraction towards you. He/she may want to hug you tight and you might want to draw back from the hug because it is too tight. Instead, you can withdraw from the hug and shake his/her hands while praising him/her. If any behaviour brings discomfort upon you, never comfort the patient with a lie. Tell him/her honestly, in a very calm manner, that you are uncomfortable with their behavior. This is better than letting him/her believe in something that is not true.
Don’t punish them.
Consider the fact that they have physical or mental impairments. Do them a favor by understanding his/her condition by heart. Don’t yell at them. Apologize whenever he/she feels uncomfortable or is disappointed at you. Like any other human, developmentally disabled adults are understanding and warm. It is you who can be the catalyst to pull that warmth out of them. So, don’t punish them too much and be a good example for them.
Bright Horizon Homes can help you take care of a developmentally disabled adult who is close to your heart. By applying innovative techniques, we provide safety, support, and quality towards people with developmental disabilities. Our staff also makes it a point to communicate with clients effectively by offering consultations with them any time. We don’t just provide care towards our clients, but we build a warm, humble home for them to boost their self-worth and independence. Contact us today at 907-357-2233! Or you can visit us at 1453 Kanabec Dr., Wasilla, Alaska 99654.