Supporting a person with Intellectual Disability
The volunteer coordinator will support you to get to know your matched buddy & how best to support their needs. You will be introduced to their family & support staff who will also support you on familiarising yourself with your buddy & any changes to their needs that you may need be made aware off.
The coordinator is always on hand to offer help & advice when you need.
When meeting a buddy for the first time it is important that you just be yourself & react in your usual way; introduce yourself, find out the person’s name and use it as you talk to him or her.
Share your thoughts with them; tell the person about yourself and what you do. Don’t always ask questions and don’t be afraid of silences. It is easier to chat with someone if you are engaged in an activity together.
If you don’t understand what the person is saying ask him or her to repeat it, to say it another way, to show you what they are referring to, to get the help of a friend of theirs; or take a guess at what is meant and check it with them. It is important that you do try to follow what the person is saying. You will quickly acclimatise to the person’s way of talking. All it requires is a bit more concentration at first.
It is also important to use simple language, Speak to the person at their level of language but in an adult manner and with appropriate, adult content.