Sunday, January 17, 2010

Intensive Interaction in Australia

Just realised I hadn't said much about Intensive Interaction in Australia. Mark Barber is doing an amazing job spearheading the development of it in schools in Australia. He and Karryn Bowen has released a new DVD illustrating the technique and some of the use in schools. Give Mark a buzz if you want to find out more about the regular training that he offers. This is a technique with accumulating evidence for how it helps children and adults with PIMD develop fundamental communication skills.

handy online resource accross issues

In 2001 Judith Samuel and Marie Pritchard from Oxfordshire UK wrote an article called the The Ignored Minority: Meeting the Needs of People with Profound Learning Disability, in which they outlined the development of a specialist service focusing on the needs of people with PIMD. Nearly ten years later I thought I'd look at where the service is at. It was great to see that they appear to be going strong and have published some of their tools online (e.g. pre hearing screening, continence audit, comfort assessment, and intensive interaction work). Very handy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Learning from mistakes abroad

Toward the end of last year Beverly Dawkins published the following article: Dawkins, B. (2009). Valuing Tom: will Valuing People Now change the lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities? Tizard Learning Disability Review, 14(4), 3-12.
It is a response to the UK Valuing People Now policy shift and its impact on people with PIMD in the UK. It highlights the many ways in which the current policy has let down people with PIMD:
- decreased access to day services
- poor planning
- continued discrimination in health context leading to uneccessary pain and, at times, death
- continued inadequate access to advocacy
- ...
New initiatives attempting to improve the lives of people with PIMD in the UK are highlighted: Emerson's demographic study, Mencap's various studies...
Although this is based in the UK, I believe this is highly relevent in the Australian context, both in terms of current and future issues.

Paradigms and pragmatics

I'm busily working on my thesis. Read this quote, which I thought was worth sharing.
“Although issues such as community-based supports, quality of life, and normalization remain equally important to nonambulatory persons with PMR [profound mental retardation], a failure to plan for their day-to-day needs can result in decreased access to appropriate health-care services, deterioration in functioning, and overreliance upon a group of poorly trained and isolate caregivers”
- Kobe, F. H., Mulick, J. A., Rash, T. A., & Martin, J. (1994). Nonambulatory persons with profound mental retardation: Physical, developmental, and behavioral characteristics. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 15(6), 413-423. doi: 10.1016/0891-4222(94)90026-4