Instructions: The following articles and publications, unless otherwise noted, can be downloaded to your computer.  To read and print the files, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader.  It's free of charge at the Adobe web site.  After you have downloaded Adobe, click on the article/publication below that you wish to view.  The article should begin to load on your computer. 

10 Things You Can Do To Support A Person With Difficult Behaviors

Now available in
Spanish, 10 Things You Can Do addresses some of the fundamentals of supporting a person whose behavior is distressing: get to know the person, help the person to maintain and develop relationships, make joy a goal, and more.

Discovery Workbook

Understanding the meaning of an individual's difficult behaviors is the first step in developing a support plan.  The
Discovery Workbook, now available in Dutch, contains a variety of ideas and strategies for uncovering what a person might need in order to build a support plan (abbreviated and extended versions also available). 

Does God Have Enough Hands? Strategies for Caregivers in a Time of Fear and Sorrow

The events of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina have had a profound effect on our nation.  For some, our innocence has been lost.  Many are waiting for the next terrible event anxiously.  Fear pervades everything we can do. 
Does God Have Enough Hands? describes strategies for "staying awake" in times of fear and sorrow.

Effective Behavior Support

People with disabilities whose behavior concerns others often rely on the skilled help of specialist staff.  This tool, developed with John O'Brien, is designed to help you determine if you are benefiting from effective behavior support

Importance of Belonging (Handout)

Many people who experience disabilities live lives of profound loneliness and isolation.  This handout is designed to help people to develop strategies for supporting the development of "enduring, freely chosen " relationships, and the medicine that comes with belonging.  Now available in

Importance of Belonging (TASH article)

A brief piece I wrote for TASH Connections.  Pretty much sums up how I see my work.

Issue/Action Form

Issue/Action planning is a means for addressing small and large systems problems. The form addresses the issue/problem being addressed, a vision of resolution, key obstacles, action steps, needed support, and a plan for evaluation.  Described in detail in
Toolbox for Change (below).

Jumping Into the Chaos of Things

Advice for anyone who wants to help a person in crisis.  Ideas gleaned from heroes on the precarious edge of things.

Loneliness Is the Only Real Disability

A handout compiled for a presentation to the National Association of State Developmental Disabilities Directors,
Loneliness is the Only Real Disability examines the implications of isolation in the lives of people who experience disabilities and makes social policy recommendations to reinforce community membership.

Man With A Black Belt In Intellect

Many people consider "positive approaches" indispensable when supporting a person who experiences disabilities, but draw a blank when applying the principles to someone they work alongside.  A discussion of "positive approaches" as a way of life.

The Matching Tool

Developed with John O'Brien, the matching tool is designed to help you to recruit support staff for an individual along several dimensions, including interests, values, and temperament.  The tool is based on the idea that who shows up matters.

Michael Smull and Susie Harrison form

Michael and Susie have given me permission to share this form with others.  It is a simple, yet elegant way to develop a support plan.

Notes for Parents

I asked a number of parents and colleagues to tell me what they thought parents most need to remember when their child engages in difficult behaviors. 
Notes for Parents is a list of ten things to keep the mind clear and the heart open.  Now available in Spanish

Opening The Door

"Opening the Door" is the title I give to my chapter in a new book edited by John O'Brien and Connie Lyle-O'Brien entitled,
Implementing Person-Centered Planning: Voices of Experience.  The chapter explores the central importance of relationships in our lives through the story of "Danny," a man looking for a real life in a system of interventions and coverage.  Available through the Inclusion Press.  To order, click here.

Positive Approaches Institute

The Institute is designed to educate professionals on values based approaches to supporting people who experience disabilities and also exhibit difficult behaviors. Participants are exposed to a sequence of intensive learning experiences covering topics ranging from the impact of loneliness on a person's emotional well-being, crisis support, person-centered planning, and building positive behavioral support plans.  The course outline includes a listing of topic areas and expected participant competencies.  The Institute Task List, developed by Paul Tabor, Director of Training for the Maine Department of Mental Retardation, lists key tasks for state and local organizers.

Psychiatric Support

Looking for a good psychiatrist?  Trying to figure out if your psychiatrist is helpful?  This tool, developed with John O'Brien, is designed to help teams evaluate the support they are receiving from their psychiatrist, and/or to help teams recruit a new psychiatrist/

Supporting A Person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Many people who experience disabilities have experienced trauma during their lives.  Supporting A Person With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder describes the effects of trauma and offers strategies for helping a person to heal.

Things You Should Know

If you want to know what a state believes in, don't pay attention to the mission statement, pay attention to the budget.  A budget is a statement of beliefs.  This paper examines Virginia's fiscal commitment to community supports and what you read might surprise you. 

Thumbnail Sketch

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

Toolbox for Change: Reclaiming Purpose, Joy, and Commitment in the Helping Profession

Many professionals in the helping profession are worn out and discouraged.  The oppressive nature of regulations and increased job requirements with shrinking resources have left many of us feeling dread each time we enter our work spaces. 
Toolbox for Change is a collection of tools for getting the work done and reclaiming purpose, joy and commitment at the same time.