Chapter 5 - Actively promoting good relationships

Promoting Desired Lifestyles Among Adults with Severe Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Person Centered Applications of Behavior Analysis, 2023, Pages 87-111
Dennis H. Reid, Mary Rosswurm

This chapter describes the importance of good relationships between human service staff and adults with severe disabilities on individual happiness. The chapter also describes frequent obstacles to developing good relationships in adult service agencies. In particular, common staffing issues are described (e.g., staff shortages and turnover) that result in various staff working in close physical proximity or contact with individuals despite the individuals lacking familiarity with the staff. The remainder of the chapter describes what has been demonstrated through research to date for new or otherwise unfamiliar staff to develop good relationships including, for example, spending specific time periods helping individuals experience enjoyment while phasing-in work responsibilities that involve close proximity or contact. Means of developing good relationships are exemplified in case illustrations along with the benefits of the relationships on individual happiness. Key supervisory responsibilities for promoting staff actions to develop good relationships are likewise presented.