Person centred planning with young people who cannot speak

Many practitioners worry about using group person centred planning approaches such as MAP or PATH with young people who cannot use their voices to speak. We are always encouraging and optimistic about this way of respectful planning irrespective of labels such as autism, profound learning difficulties, severe language or learning needs and so on… We have learned that with the right conditions present we can create a plan based on dreams and achievable goals that are meaningful and true for the young person at the heart of this way of working.

The conditions need to include the following:

  • the right people are present who the young person knows to be loving family, people who really care or love them, or friends
  • the facilitators must watch and listen and allow the young person to communicate however they may wish to
  • the facilitators must watch and listen really carefully to those who are really close to the young person
  • a safe space in which the young person is comfortable and ideally they have chosen

The young man featured in this video who had been wonderfully included at Seely Primary in Nottingham was helped to feel comfortable by the presence of his mum, best friend and favourite TA – plus the graphic was shaped like a train and he loves trains! Those who know him well were surprised he was able to stay in a meeting for 2 hours and that he did not cry! He used no words but the plan was a wonderful reflection of both his interests and possible contribution to the world.

Read some of the wonderful poems written by a amazing group of young people who do not use their spoken voices  – they like to refer to themselves ‘Quiet Riot’ – need we say more – they can teach us so much – if we listen deeply. Their unique book can be found in our store – Quiet Riot Collected  

The title of Maresa MacKeith’s remarkable book that we are also proud to publish reflects the importance of the above conditions  ‘Taking the Time’

Learn more about person centred planning at our 2 day training event in Nottingham 19th and 20th March 2020

Nottingham PATH training in March


Contact Us

Colin Newton

0115 955 6045

Doug Newton

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