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How do you associate with people who have mental retardation?


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There are 2 programs where I go (day hab and Pros). I go to pros, but one of the people on my bus (who goes to day hab) has mental retardation. I only found this out today because of something that happened this afternoon.

There were times previously where he would go and touch me and rub my hair and invade my personal space. Today I was waiting out of the cafeteria (because day hab's lunch is the period before ours), and he again invaded my personal space. I walked away to try to avoid the situation but he followed me and I got anxious because I didn't know what to do. I asked if he could go to where he had to go, and walked away, but he again followed me and I was near a corner and I was very anxious and he laughed at me. One of my peers helped me out and I thanked him for it. After it happened I went to one of the staff who spoke with the day hab staff, and after I had lunch, that's when the staff told me that he has mental retardation.

The staff told me that I have to be patient and that if further "incidents" happen, to let my staff know right away.

What I'd like to know (I know this is an Axis II and not Axis I dx), but how do you associate with people who have mental retardation so that you can have your needs met so that I can be proactive and help prevent further incidence?

I'm grateful that I don't have problems on the bus rides.

Thanks,

Andy.

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I know exactly what you mean by freezing up and not knowing what to do, I get that really bad as well.

Id try asking one of the staff to coach you through some typical encounters and how to handle them without either one of you feeling hurt

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I work with developmentally disabled adults on a daily basis, and many have issues with personal space and boundaries. This seems especially true around someone "new" who might not be aware of or prepared for their behaviors. These folks must be told clearly, when they approach you too closely, to stay out of your personal space. Once they realize that you expect them to stay back, things usually improve, but you have to be consistent and remind them as clearly and often as necessary. Do not fall for any requests for hugs, I usually offer to bump elbows as a substitute greeting. Notifying the staff is also a good step, as they can tighten supervision, according to whether or not the person can maintain appropriate behavior in that particular setting. I truly love each and every one of our clients, but setting boundaries and expecting respect are part of the daily routine. Takes constant reinforcement. Working with the DD community is very rewarding, I love the work! Hopefully with time, you will get to know and understand each other better.

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I work with developmentally disabled adults on a daily basis, and many have issues with personal space and boundaries. This seems especially true around someone "new" who might not be aware of or prepared for their behaviors. These folks must be told clearly, when they approach you too closely, to stay out of your personal space. Once they realize that you expect them to stay back, things usually improve, but you have to be consistent and remind them as clearly and often as necessary. Do not fall for any requests for hugs, I usually offer to bump elbows as a substitute greeting. Notifying the staff is also a good step, as they can tighten supervision, according to whether or not the person can maintain appropriate behavior in that particular setting. I truly love each and every one of our clients, but setting boundaries and expecting respect are part of the daily routine. Takes constant reinforcement. Working with the DD community is very rewarding, I love the work! Hopefully with time, you will get to know and understand each other better.

I have had experience with MR persons and they have been mostly wonderful! But yes they can be innapropriate in their behavior and need feedback and reinforcement of that feedback until it is clear to them.

Lavender has, I think, given you very excellent advice.

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