Showing posts from May, 2022

Without Autonomy, It’s Not Therapy

Back in the 1980s, in my first full-time job after college, I worked as a house parent and trainer with intellectually disabled adults. I loved the work and the people I worked with. (I’ve always loved working with outsiders, people on the margins of society; probably, in retrospect, because I’m autistic).   One incident that stuck in my mind (though there were many similar ones) happened when I was working in the garden with some of the clients and a more senior colleague. My colleague was someone who I admired as a role model, because she showed genuine respect for the people we worked with, treating them as equals and truly wanting the best for them. One of the young men working with us in the garden that day (I’ll call him Pat) had a very gentle nature, too gentle sometimes, and we used to encourage him to stand up for himself more, so as not to get taken advantage of. That day, two of the senior managers came to visit and look around the location where we were working. They