People with cognitive disabilities may find it difficult to determine the consequences of their own decisions and will likely need ongoing support in understanding them.
This video talk introduces this strategy:
You can use the following approaches with this strategy:
- Make it understandable: break the decision and its consequences down into smaller parts. Then you can discuss these smaller parts more easily. You can start with one part, find a solution for that and then move onto the next small-sized part.
- Do the research: gathering and assembling information or expert knowledge about the decision is necessary to make further decisions. For example, to enable the person to make a decision, you might need to collect some brochures about holiday destinations for an upcoming trip.
- Present the options and related pros and cons: presenting positive and negative aspects of the decision assists the person to understand the effects of their decision. You can write a list together to assist in having the discussion.
- Identify associated smaller decisions and consequences: remember in Step 6 we identified decisions associated with the overarching decision? Identifying those and the consequences arising from them will influence the implementation of the final decision.
- Explain the consequences and that priorities can be undermined by small decisions: ensure that the person really understands the reality of what they want. This involves explaining the consequences of the decision. For example, if the person wants to enrol in a course, you might need to explain that there are some classes that they will need to attend. If the person is not interested in attending classes, then that could undermine their overarching decision.
This video shows an example of how the person can be educated about the consequences and practicalities of the decision.
Watch the video and then answer the questions. Write in the downloadable workbook located in the Resources section.
- What does Dan want to do?
- Dan’s support worker, Owen, highlights some concerns about his decision. What are these?
- Owen suggests that Dan goes to the beach instead. How does Dan respond?
- Dan’s brother, Tony, works through the decision with him. What approaches does Dan use to explain the consequences and practicalities of the decision? Explain.
- Would you say that Tony ‘knows’ Dan? Explain.
Select the button below to learn about the strategy Listening and engaging to ensure all options are considered.