In Person Centred Planning we are passionate to pursue and plan for a good life for the child or young person who is the focus of our efforts. This contrasts with attempts to provide effective provision to meeting Special Educational Needs that is so central a task in the ‘medical model,’ service centred world most of us work in or bring our disabled children up in.
But what is a good life?
We learned from ‘Beyond Welfare’ the importance of:
for communities and these certainly make sense for individuals.We have used the pursuit of these principles as a central way forward with our Community Circle work around the UK.
Going way back to the ancient philosophy days of Aristippus and Aristotle and the study of well being we discover:
- Hedonism – the pursuit of pleasure
- Eudaimonism – life in accordance with ones virtues/seeking meaning/engagement with the existential challenges of life
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
Useful questions to elicit more info from kids/ help kids explore issues – from UK Ed. Psychologist Forum 2020
Useful questions to elicit more info from kids/ help kids explore issues – from UK Ed Psychologist Forum 2020
‘I know you may have been looking on the internet. Is there anything that you are concerned about? ‘
‘ Is there anything you have told me that you feel I should have taken more notice of ?’
“Is there anything else I should have asked about?”
Nottingham Community Circle meet every second Wednesday at New Generation Church Basford 6-7.15pm. Free food and community connections, all welcomed. All means all!
8th January, 12th February, 11th March, 8th April, 13th May, 10th June, 8th July, 12th August, 9th September, 14th October, 11th November, 9th December
See the Nottingham Community Circle page for further details