Building a Well-Rounded Support System
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The Bost Positive Behavior Support Program has been in place for nearly two years and has seen considerable growth and positive outcomes in that short time. This program is as individual as the person served is. The Positive Behavior Specialist (PBSS) meets with the individual based on a need expressed by that individual, the individual’s family, his direct care staff, or manager. They assess what is going on, what supports are needed, and the goals of their participation. Some of these supports are done on a one-on-one basis, while others lend themselves to more of a group setting. Those receiving services from the program can learn social and coping skills, self-esteem, emotional regulation, crisis management, and communication skills. Life Skills classes focus on skills such as math, reading, cooking, and crafts. When weather is permitting, exercise outdoors is enjoyed.

The Positive Behavior Support Specialists, Melissa Putman and Marka Keddie, love the flexibility of the program and what that means for those served by Bost. Not only do those in the PBSS program receive emotional and behavioral support, but they also get the opportunity to lead their peers in group sessions and assist in teaching the classes! An upcoming class will feature preparing a recipe brought to Marka by an individual served who had traveled to another country. He and Marka wil work together to prepare for the class and then he will lead his peers through the recipe. The ownership of the groups and classes by the individuals being served helps to boost team spirit, self-esteem, and communication skills. The individual-led classes have also helped some more reticent individuals open up to sharing experiences and thoughts with other.

Currently the PBSS program is local to the Fort Smith area, but has potential to expand, and not just geographically! Marka and Melissa would love to see more classes and activities and believe the skills taught in the one-on-one and group classes can be scaled to children as well.

Melissa and Marka have the best interest of those we serve at the forefront of their minds in the development and growth of the program. Speaking for them both, Marka said, “I feel like a lot of times that just us being there for them makes all the difference.” We couldn’t agree more!

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