Today was the first day of my new position at work. I love it! Ask me again in a week and my opinion may change, but today was great. I am back working with the clients in a "classroom" type setting. I had a blast. I don't admit this too often, but I like trying to figure out what makes them tick, what inspires them, what is important to them. To me it is a learning experience, each day is unique. At our day programming we spend a lot of time researching and experiment ing on the whats and whys.
For example: We have a client who is labelled "biter." For years everyone saw that label and steered clear. This client was also an "aggressive eater." After we finally looked past the label we found out that these actions were displayed because when he was in an institution the female residents used to hide their food in their bust because whatever was on their plates after five minutes was thrown away. Can you imagine having to eat food that quick with an overbite, a set of seriously bucked out teeth, or no teeth at all? Or if you had limited control of the movements of your arm due to defect? This client had no where to stuff food, and no hopes of ingesting food quickly enough to get an adequate nutritional meal. He used to bite breasts hoping for food, and after starving for years began to just swallow his food whole in order to not starve. Now we give him a timer at meals and allow him to set the time he is allowed to eat. We hope to eliminate the timer eventually, but he was raised like that. To him the timer means eat. He won't eat without one. He hasn't had a behavioral slip up in over a year.
My new job is to basically help clients to overcome years and years of bad habits, figure out where those habits came from, and to completely think outside the box. I had a blast today.
I hate when people use labels to identify a client. A person can easily be lost to them.