Beyond "Behaviors": Supporting Competence, Confidence, and Well-Being


Difficult behaviors result from unmet needs.  This workshop examines seven quality of life indicators that are often missing in the life of a person who experiences our services.  Based on the idea from Jean Clarke that a person's needs are best met by people whose needs are met, this day-long workshop examines strategies for supporting not only an individual who experiences disabilities but also the needs of his or her caregivers.


At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will have developed knowledge in the following areas:

  • Determining what people may be communicating through their difficult behaviors;
  • The role of  physiological or psychiatric needs in the development of difficult behaviors
  • The importance of asking critical quality of life questions in building a support plan;
  • The critical importance of addressing caregiver needs in the development of a support plan;
  • Ways to support an individual in crisis.

Suggested Agenda

The following is a suggested agenda only.  Starting and ending times may vary.  Regular question and answer breaks are built into the day.

09:00   Introductions/housekeeping

09:10   Part One: Difficult behaviors result from unmet needs: Understanding the function(s) of a person's difficult behaviors

10:30   Break

10:45   Part Two:  The critical role of relationships in achieving a sense of health and well-being

12:00   Lunch

01:00   Part Three: 7 Questions to guide the development of a support plan

02:30   Break

02:45   Part Four: Supporting people in crisis

04:00   End


Discovery Workbook with Support Plan forms (abbreviated and extended).  Optional: 10 Things You Can Do To Support A Person with Difficult Behaviors (available in Spanish), Who Holds Your Story?, Jumping Into the Chaos of Things, Notes for Parents (available in Spanish), What Do I Do Next…?  (available in Spanish). 

Thumbnail Sketch and Photo

A thumbnail sketch of David and his work for conference brochures.  Includes information about audio-visual needs.  A photo for brochures can also be downloaded.

Audio Visual Needs

If available, an LCD projector (if not, an overhead projector), screen, , large pieces of paper, masking tape, felt pens (or a blackboard), and, if you are expecting over 50 people, a lavaliere microphone (a microphone that can be worn as a necklace or attached to a shirt or tie). 

Contact Information

David Pitonyak

540-552-5629 VOICE

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© David Pitonyak