Dealing with Isolation: for people in Supported Living

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Poli Gavria, Behaviour Support Specialist

04 April 2020

Dealing with Isolation: for people in Supported Living

Here are some general recommended practices, for carers, support workers and parents supporting people with disabilities who are socially isolated due to the Corona Crisis.

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Dealing with Isolation: for people in Supported Living

Anxiety Tools for Parents and Carers during Covid-19

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Andrea Kuepper and Adriana Glusman

04 April 2020

Anxiety Tools for Parents and Carers during Covid-19

We know at AbilityConsultants that being a parent or carer of someone with special needs is highly rewarding, but at times can also be challenging. Often, when something stressful happens in our own life, it can affect our work and our ability to look after others.

With the ongoing situation of COVID-19, most of us will feel anxious to some degree, even those who typically do not tend to feel that way. We wanted to remind you that it is OK to reach out to access support at the moment for yourself to be able to look after others. And feel free to consult your assigned Behaviour Support Specialists for additional support in these unprecedented times. Here are some self-help tools.

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Anxiety Tools for Parents and Carers during Covid-19

17 Stimulating Activities During the Corona Crisis

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Poli Gavria, Behaviour Support Specialist

04 April 2020

17 Stimulating Activities During the Corona Crisis

Right now, we are stuck at home and at risk of being bored. Someone said, "Boredom is usually the thing that happens, right before you do something truly creative."

Some of these activities may match your abilities, likes and interests. Maybe none of them. Maybe this list makes your boredom worse! If that's the case, I hope the boredom sparks your own creativity, and you develop a unique set of stimulating activities for you.

Let us know!

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17 Stimulating Activities During the Corona Crisis

Our Current Covid-19 Response, 1 April 2020

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David Ackling-Jones

01 April 2020

Our Current Covid-19 Response, 1 April 2020

We work to find resourceful ways to support freedom, social connection and wellbeing for people with a disability, and this matters more now than ever.

How are we providing safe and effective Positive Behaviour Support services during the Corona Virus crisis?

  • Since 28 March, we provide telepractice services and no on-site services, to help stem the spread of the virus
  • When health authorities relax stage 3 restrictions in Australia, we will resume face to face meetings
  • Our clinicians are providing a full range of Positive Behaviour Support services via a variety of digital platforms and devices
  • If you do not wish to use telepractice, please make an appointment for face to face services with your clinician 4 or more weeks in advance, so your services can be placed on hold
  • Our admin team is busy and eager to help you with your referral
  • We're continuing to grow as a team, and we're seeking more brilliant new team members
  • Team growth and wellbeing through ongoing in-service training, weekly 1:1 mentoring, and great collaboration

We can help preserve the quality of life for the people we support and make things better during this challenging time.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

David Ackling-Jones

CEO.

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Our Current Covid-19 Response, 1 April 2020

How we Provide Positive Behaviour Support by Telepractice

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Steve Davies, Senior Behaviour Support Specialist

01 April 2020

How we Provide Positive Behaviour Support by Telepractice

Before I started at Ability Consultants I worked for a school. Everything I did was done face to face, and it worked fine for me. When I moved across, I was given a Zoom account, which included a phone number, and released into the world as a tele-practitioner. In fact, the first client I was given at Ability Consultants is someone who lives in a different state to me, and I’ve never met them in the flesh. This service has worked fantastically well to date. The client is a very smart person looking to explore how to apply elements of Positive Behaviour Support in their life to help solve some of the problems they’ve been facing. In this particular situation, meeting on a digital platform has probably worked better than it would have to try to meet face to face. Many of our clients have diagnoses which predispose them to difficulties around social anxiety and social communication difficulties, and many of these people also have an interest and preference for technology. Meeting via Zoom allows clear, direct, focussed, 1:1 communication using cool technology, which is just perfect for situations like this.

Since the COVID-19 restrictions have come into place, Ability Consultants have quite rightly made the decision that we shouldn’t be meeting people in their normal environments in the community for the time being. 

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How we Provide Positive Behaviour Support by Telepractice

What's it like being an Ability Consultant?

General Articles |

Jane Pfaff

17 February 2020

What's it like being an Ability Consultant?

What is it like to be an Ability Consultant?

Well, I can tell you that no day is ever the same.

Here’s what some of our staff have to say ...

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What's it like being an Ability Consultant?

Resilience

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Jane Pfaff

12 February 2020

Resilience

I continue to marvel at the resilience of the people we support.

Over the past 40 years working in the disability sector, I have watched, particularly in group homes:

  • A constant coming and going of support staff
  • Support programs that are taken away, then reinstated, only to be taken away again
  • Communication supports, such as chat books removed or symbols not replaced, because ‘the client always destroys them’
  • Boards posted on the wall of the group home, such as a ‘who’s on shift’, taken down as it is not considered appropriate in a home.
  • Attitudes from some staff that any display of challenging behaviour should have a consequence
  • Loss of contact with family and friends
  • People not recognised as sexual beings
  • Illness or death of a co-resident and a dismissal of the persons need (or ability) to grieve

WOW… I wonder how I would cope? How would you cope?

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Resilience

6 Things that make a Positive Behaviour Support Plan Great

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Jane Pfaff

21 October 2019

6 Things that make a Positive Behaviour Support Plan Great

Starting out as a Behaviour Clinician in 1987, I have seen a wide variety of Behaviour Support Plans. Way back then the training was called the "Program Officers Course." The course was only open to nurses with Mental Retardation, Psychiatric, or Geriatric registration by the NSW Health Commission. It required attending 12 weeks of training, living-in at Stockton Hospital and staying in the Nurses Home, Monday to Friday. 

Since this time, I have seen a wide variety of Behaviour Support Plans. Here is a list of 6 things I believe make a Behaviour Support Plan great.

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6 Things that make a Positive Behaviour Support Plan Great

Things have changed...

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Jane Pfaff

03 October 2019

Things have changed...

As the saying goes…”it’s not rocket science”

Being able to communicate, socialise, participate in meaningful activities and enjoy physical activity are essential for a good and satisfying life.

I have worked in the disability sector for a very long time, mostly in Government. Whilst I recognise that much of what went before the NDIS was certainly not perfect and that a lot of people seemed to get a rolls royce service, I do believe that there was an ability to try and get it right for clients and that clinicians advice was respected, particularly when it came to clients with challenging behaviour. It wasn’t always easy to get support or funding, however there was a better understanding of the reasoning and the experience of the cost long term if resources were not funded adequately from the start. There was also an ability to provide uninterrupted service.

Over the past 2 years working in an NDIS environment managing a team of clinicians, therapists and case managers the pain points seem to be many.

Read on

Things have changed...

Connect with us

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David Ackling-Jones

06 July 2019

Connect with us

What does it take to be an Ability Consultant?

We are clinicians focussed on serving people with disability. 

We have all worked for several years in the field, and are on a journey of professional growth. We are question-askers, learners, communicators, evidence-seekers, and we openly share our ideas and skills.

We are human, and we live to build human connection into everything we do.

We are psychologists, behaviour analysts, and allied health professionals with strong ethics and person-centred values.

We are all from different backgrounds, and we love this diversity. 

We all believe Behaviour Support can be done differently, and more effectively in an atmosphere of openness and continuous improvement. We seek feedback and celebrate the opportunity to learn.

We have a supportive culture. We are people who focus on supporting others on the team.

Many of us have young families. We thrive in a role where we have complete flexibility of time and location. We can work at a time and a place that balances with our life and where there is no pressure to work more or less than we need to.

We are a team of leaders. Clinicians with the maturity and skill to work as independent specialists, focussed on client outcomes. We love having this level of autonomy, and value the daily challenge.

We commit to clinical and operational supervision and keep an individual learning plan in place. We work in an organisation that funds our conference attendance, research activities, courses, and individual learning opportunities.

We value our streamlined administration systems and our wonderful admin team, who enable us to focus on providing therapy rather than doing hours of NDIS paperwork.

If this sounds like you, check out our Careers page. We put a new ad on seek yesterday.

Connect with us

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We serve Greater Sydney & beyond

Ability Consultants is a team of Behaviour Support Specialists who work with clients on site throughout Greater Sydney all the way through to the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Illawarra regions.

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