Pumped for the new year, being awesome


It’s a new year and 2017 promises to be a year of exciting opportunity at Woodville. For our Disability Services clients the start to the new year means seeing friends again, returning to activities they love, being involved in their community and exercising choice and control – the cornerstones of the NDIS. And that’s exciting.

But for some, the new year means a time of change and transition, adapting to a new environment and being introduced to many new faces.

Before our doors opened again for the new  year, our staff focussed their energy on getting to know the young group of school leavers who are joining us.

For this group of young adults with an intellectual disability and their families, it can be a time of excitement but also some anxiety and uncertainty. That is why we invest time and effort to ease this transition, for our new clients and for their families.

After all, the person is at the very centre of all the work we do at Disability Services. It is all about you. So we spend time getting to know you, getting to know your family and supporting you to prepare to transition to our support service.

We spent the first day back to work in 2017 learning more about our new clients and with the help of Jeramy Nusco from Northcott, we had an update on person centred behaviour support.

Jeramy’s insights into the philosophy around behaviour support reminded us about the ethical issues, human rights and legal requirements around behaviour support.

The ADHC definition of challenging behaviour may be defined as: “behaviour…of such an intensity, frequency or duration as to threaten the quality of life and/or the physical safety of the individual or others and is likely to lead to responses that are restrictive, aversive or result in exclusion.”

The one big truth revealed on the day was this:

The number one way to address behaviours of concern

And the answer is simple. The number one way to address behaviours of concern is to ask ‘why’.


‘Why’ boils down to the very crux of the matter — what causes behaviours of concern? Are the behaviours of concern as a result of frustration? Boredom? An appeal for attention?

By asking our clients with an intellectual disability the simple question ‘why?’ we can show empathy for the reason for behaviours of concern and take steps to support them to exercise choice and control.

Jeramy observed a room full of ‘person centred’ vibes yesterday. That’s because our passionate team of staff put the person at the heart of everything.

“The time invested in finding out about the new people coming to Woodville is awesome!” Jeremy said.

“The way staff referred to the incoming clients —their likes, dislikes and their personalities— was terrific. It was clear to me the staff viewed them as young people with the same needs as us: respect, engagement and support.

“Staff were smiling about the new people when describing them, making me excited for what new dynamics those people could bring in to Woodville,” he said.

To talk to one of our NDIS experts, call our Disability Services number on 9722 5200.


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