Bending Over Backward to Strengthen a Role

Person-Centered Planning can be a powerful method to help envision all sorts of valued roles a person might move into. Autism Society West Bengal gave their organization a powerful boost when they combined their SRV savvy with a tool like PATH to give a roles-based vision. Mr. Amitava Basu took center stage at his PATH planning session, surrounded by the people he most trusts and regards. When he began to talk about how important his role is as a classroom assistant at the Lake Gardens unit of ASWB, his circle members listened. They began to think about ways he might fill the role of school employee more fully. STRENGTHENING existing valued roles is one of the important parts of SRV theory, and the people in Amitava’s circle understood this, and used this idea in supporting him.

One way to strengthen Amitava’s role was to help him take on more valued activities in that role. Amitava is a natural public speaker and a man who loves to be in the center of things. He decided he would like to be a part of the orientation team at his school, providing training presentations at the parent training sessions. Not only does this strengthen his current role, but it is also a very fine example of the conservatism corollary (bending over backward to compensate) in practice. After all, being a part of the new batch of parent training means you are automatically respected and listened to as a mentor. As Amitava teaches about school-wide policies and procedures, he is also perceived as an expert on the subject, an added bonus to all the “good things of life” coming his way.