The backbone of any treatment programme is educational with formal instruction in the skills which others acquire in passing. Teaching and training are lifelong processes that involve the development of teacher-student relationships and take place within a structured framework, essential for students who have difficulty in understanding their environments. The difficulty is to gauge the degree of structure required: too much and the relationship risks becoming a battle about control which too easily turns into entrenched warfare; too little and the student is distracted and learns little. The balance should shift over time, promoting the student's self-control and autonomy.

Independence and self-help skills

These include the basic skills of everyday life, such as feeding, dressing, or managing stairs or, at a higher level, the use of public transport, and how to care for clothes, shop, and budget. Acquiring these skills gives a sense of achievement as well as of increased independence.

Communication skills

The frustration of living in an uncomprehending world frequently contributes to disturbance as the person falls back on various forms of attention-seeking or violent behaviour to get their message across. It is helped by an easier and more effective means of communication. This may range from simple gestures (such as pulling at the trousers to indicate the need for toileting), through a system of pointing to symbols or pictures, to complex signing which can convey abstract concepts such as emotional states. Language may be verbal or non-verbal, with a sign language such as Makaton (a simplified form of standard sign language) being taught simultaneously in both modalities. These usually reinforce each other so that a course in signing may improve speech. Whatever the system used, it depends on, and will be limited by, the extent to which those around can understand it.

Social and sexual relationships

These are hedged around by cultural rules, which vary between families, making it an especially difficult area to teach. Occasionally behavioural disturbance may be accompanied by sexual arousal in someone for whom masturbation is inefficient, physically damaging, unlearned, or forbidden. Wider discussion may bring out strongly held beliefs and family conflicts which had been unsuspected or denied until then. It may lead onto other areas requiring resolution, such as whether a person with mental retardation should have a sexual relationship, marry, or have children.

Break Free From Passive Aggression

Break Free From Passive Aggression

This guide is meant to be of use for anyone who is keen on developing a better understanding of PAB, to help/support concerned people to discover various methods for helping others, also, to serve passive aggressive people as a tool for self-help.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment