Is There a Better Way was initially established to support families and disability support providers to understand and strive towards the elimination of restrictive practices. Over time, ITaBW has become a more broader approach, firmly grounded by a human rights framework.
The ITaBW approach helps support people to develop a clearer understanding and insight into the reasons for a person to engage in behaviour that can be challenging. It is guided by the underlying recognition that challenging behaviour results from unmet needs. It is a way of expressing the stress and distress the person is experiencing. Our response therefore being to better understand what the person is experiencing and what needs they may have that has led to ongoing stress.
Often the needs of people with a disability and behaviour can be misunderstood, ignored or overlooked, especially in educational and disability services settings. Often, in an attempt to ‘fix’ a behaviour, we focus on wrong things, trying to change a behaviour and motivate a person to do something differently. Supporting a person to have a less of a need to use behaviours of concern however requires us to look, not at the behaviour but what might the gaps in a person’s needs may be.
Utilising evidenced based practice and lived experience, we delve into understanding what the person with disability is experiencing and the influencing factors, both personal and environmental that contribute to possible unmet needs. Like an iceburg, we look at what lies underneath a behaviour to get a deeper understanding of how to support a person’s needs.
ITaBW is grounded by a contemporary view of Positive Behaviour Support approach embedding a range of evidenced based practices. We are led primarily by a neuroscience and trauma informed lens, seeking to understand the experiences of people with a disability from what it might be like to be them from within. The main focus being to reduce the experience of anxiety, stress and dysregulation for people and to therefore improve their quality of life and relationships.
ITaBW seeks to support people to feel in control, connected and heard.
It seeks to support people to be ABLE to adapt or learn new skills and behaviours by reducing stress and increasing the brain and body’s capacity to cope.
The knowledge of ITaBW founders in communication, health, human rights and behaviour support ensures that ITaBW is unique in it’s approach to better understand the underlying needs of people and how to therefore develop lifelong supports. The ITABW framework has evolved over time into a robust model of practice which underpins the approach utilised by all employees.
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The Is There a Better Way training program has been independently evaluated but the Business School at the University of Western Australia. We have done this twice! Once with our face to face training program and now with our online learning program. You can access the results of these evaluations by selecting the UWA image.
Overall, most families who have attended our programs have reported significant changes in their relationship, wellbeing capacity to cope and vision for the future and development of skills for both themselves and their loved with a disability. Most importantly they experienced positive change.
'It’s been amazing. I love it. It has helped me be more empathetic. I feel so lucky to have been part of this program.'
Is There a Better Way is a service arm of Microboard's Australia. Microboard's Australia provide a range of services to families who may have a family member with with disabilty to develop a Microboard, to provide general support, training, advocacy and to support sector wide change to uphold the human rights of people with a disability. Broadly, a Microboard is a sustainable network of unpaid relationships with a strong values based culture committed to the Social Model of Disability. MA take each network through a detailed formation process culminating in incorporation to create a not for profit association supporting just one person & which legally mandates adherence to microboard principles in person centred thinking, vision, complex communication needs, social inclusion, self-determination and supported decision making, risk management and dignity of risk, full citizenship, safeguarding, medical planning, futures planning, advocacy, governance, and recruitment. You can find out more by accessign our main Microboard's Australia website. Just press our logo and we will take you there!