Damar works to help every individual become more fully connected to his or her community, equipping each person to live as independently as possible. Admittedly, things don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have unusual behaviors. They might get upset or overly excited. They might even run away, or find themselves in dangerous situations.
That’s Where You Can Help.
As a member of the community these individuals want to be a part of, you can help every day by being patient and encouraging, offering assistance, and responding to guidance from parents and caregivers.
For more ideas on how to help in stressful situations, see below.
How to Help: Tips & Guidelines
If you see a parent or caregiver in a stressful situation with someone who appears to have an intellectual disability or autism, you can help by following a few guidelines:
What to do:
- Offer assistance and respond appropriately. Ask the parent or caregiver, “Is there any way I can help?” before you jump to conclusions or jump in with assistance.
- Give room. Close proximity (if not helping) can excite a situation.
- Reassure others. If the parent or caregiver has let you know they do not need help, diffuse other onlookers by providing this information to them quietly.
What not to do:
- Don’t judge. Most difficult behaviors arise from confusion or anxiety, not bad intentions.
- Don’t assume I’m a bad parent or caregiver. The parent or caregiver is doing his or her best in a difficult situation.
- Don’t make negative comments. Your compassion and encouragement will be your greatest assistance.
- Don’t stare. Kind and supportive looks should be brief. Sustained stares can make the parent or individual feel uncomfortable or judged.
- Don’t stay. If a parent or caregiver needs your help, they will let you know. Often, crowds or onlookers can complicate the situation.
- Don’t record it. This is a difficult and personal moment, not something to share on social media or use to “shame” someone.