Not always the teacher, at times the student

I am pleased to introduce Damaris Williams as a guest blogger. Damaris is an Assistant at our Kenosha Adult Day Center, and will share his experiences supporting adults who have disabilities.

“Not always the teacher, at times the student”
by Damaris Williams

Every day at the Kenosha Adult Day Center is unique, and every individual is unique. Most days are full of fun, laughter, and joy. Other days may be more of a struggle. You have to be creative and come up with ways to make something fun, or to try and get them to laugh.

You need to be patient and understanding of how each person may be feeling or what challenges they may be facing. The techniques that I try to use one day in certain situations may not work the next day. I find that while I’m trying to figure out who they are and what I can do to make their experiences the best they can be, they are trying to figure out ways they can communicate their needs to me.

My goal is to build strong relationships and trust with each person. I have found that whether they are verbal or nonverbal my approach is always the same: I am always friendly and smiling. I speak with an inviting tone and I always offer choices so that they can make their own decisions.

One participant in particular is nonverbal and her primary way of communicating is through sign language. I started working at the Kenosha Adult Day Service Program in May of 2010 and I didn’t know any sign language, which created a communication barrier for us. However, after two months of working with her, she has taught me several signs and other ways to communicate with her, such as reading, writing, and gesturing. Since I have been working at Easter Seals I have learned that I am not always going to be the teacher, but at times the student.

Easters Seals Adult Day Service Program allows individuals to socialize and express themselves creatively. Because the program is located in the Kenosha YMCA it also provides individuals with community interactions and ample ways to be active. While the participants are here with us, their families and caregivers have an opportunity to care for themselves. This program allows both participants and caregivers the opportunity to enjoy and make the most out of each day.


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

Comments are closed.