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Connections - 11.30.22

It’s HOW You Say It

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Most of us have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” But how many of us stop to think about how this approach can improve the lives of those we serve?

In a world that is moving too fast, paying too little, and always wanting more, we tend to forget that the little things can often have the biggest impact.

In this story, we meet Kenny and hear how care staff utilized technology to solve a puzzle that had stumped other providers for years.

When we met with Kenny, he was 22 years old and slated to return to an institution. He had been fending for himself since the age of 7. His mother died, and his long-haul trucker father did not care much for him. He was often left alone and was ultimately abandoned by his father and stepmother.

The first few months Kenny was with our provider organization were very hard — fits of rage, destruction of property, and self-hatred engulfed him. We could only imagine how many times he was called stupid because anytime he would get mad, he would yell “I’m NOT stupid.”

Over the months, we would make progress, but then Kenny would regress.

To move Kenny from a disheveled, angry, and hopeless individual to a thriving member of a community, we leveraged a loving staff, a plan, and TMP’s collaborative person-centered I/DD software to make sure everyone had real-time data and training specific to Kenny and his needs.

First, we addressed his poor self-esteem. Kenny had been called stupid so much that his self-perception was shattered.

To build Kenny up, we immediately sent a training program, through TMP, to all staff that interacted with him. This training included videos of daily affirmations that they were to share with Kenny.

We collected data on which ones worked and documented incident reports anytime there was a behavior. By getting everyone aligned and delivering the same message, we saw quick results.

Second, we found out what didn’t work. With data collected from TMP, a story began to take shape. The data helped us quickly figure out that if we asked Kenny to do something, rather than telling him to do it, the response was 100% positive.

We immediately sent out training to everyone (through TMP), and no one told Kenny to do anything from that day forward. Instead of telling Kenny, “It’s time to brush your teeth,” we would ask, “Would you like to brush your teeth now or in a few minutes?”

Outbursts dropped instantly! Our staff, leveraging our TMP I/DD software, performed a miracle.

Today Kenny is thriving in the community with an “adopted” family that loves him and serves as his guardian.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it! And in this case, it’s not just the data you collect, it’s how your team uses that data to better help those in your care.

Larry is the founder Hill Resources, Inc. and Living Resources LLC, ICF and waiver providers serving people with I/DD. He is also the Founder and CEO of Gold Partner TMP, Taskmaster Pro Technologies.

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