ERIC Number: ED464455
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Holding the 10,000 Details: Productive Relationships between Parents of People with Developmental Disabilities and Service Workers.
O'Brien, John; O'Brien, Connie Lyle
This paper addresses the question of what it takes for parents of people with developmental disabilities and service workers to build and maintain productive relationships. It considers whether such a focus compromises principles of self-determination and suggests that people with strong support actually have more autonomy. Eleven suggestions for improving communication between parents and service workers are offered such as remembering differences in history between parents and service providers and expanding the individual's nework of relationships. The importance of honoring powerful emotions is stressed, noting that both parents and service workers often believe they are the weaker partners in the relationship. Other principles of relationship building include naming conflicts, naming fears, and recognizing cultural differences. The metaphor of "holding 10,000 details" is used to describe the parents' and service workers' role. These details are also shown to be a source of inequality, the root of power transactions, the source of conflicts and overprotection, and closely related to the big idea of self-determination. The paper concludes by stressing that the individual with a developmental disability must be seen as a whole person in relationship to others and in their experience of disability. (DB)
Descriptors: Adults, Children, Communication Problems, Delivery Systems, Developmental Disabilities, Integrated Services, Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Parent Attitudes, Parent Participation, Personal Autonomy, Service Workers
Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities, P.O. Box 7851, Madison, WI 53707-7851. For full text: http://www.wccd.org/Publications/Holding Details.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.; Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. on Community Integration.
Authoring Institution: Responsive Systems Associates, Lithonia, GA.; Syracuse Univ., NY. Center on Human Policy.; Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities, Madison.