MyODP News Online

Introducing & Maintaining Remote Supports

A person using a tabletSome individuals we support may experience difficulties while adjusting to remote supports. Being prepared and mindful about how you will engage during remote supports is important. Below are some suggestions for getting the most out of introducing and maintaining remote supports:

Introducing remote supports
  • Think about what assistance the individual will need to use remote supports and identify how those supports can be arranged (e.g., would he/she benefit from a caregiver being present during the first few times you meet?)
  • Offer a variety of methods of support (e.g., phone, video, text, email, etc…) and let the individual decide which one works best. Or, try a few out together!
  • Review and offer suggestions on the goals he/she can work on and what that might look like.
  • If an individual is apprehensive about whether or not they want to receive remote supports, offer a few trial interactions to see if they might like it. Or, consider using a method they are comfortable with (e.g., text) and slowly introduce another method (e.g., video). 
Maintaining remote supports
  • Support should be more than just an impromptu “check-in.” Focus on doing, practicing, role-playing, etc. 
  • Use preferred interests to increase interaction (e.g., can you watch a video together on something that is highly preferred and then systematically introduce other activities that entail practicing goals?)
  • Ask open-ended questions and avoid leading questions. 
    • “Tell me how things are going” vs “how are things” or “Is everything ok over there”
    • “How can I help?” vs “do you need any help” 
  • Avoid circular conversations when dealing with frustration or participant venting. That is, redirect the individual to more productive, positive interactions. Together, can you develop a "mantra" to get through these times that are uncertain and, mainly, out of the individual's control (e.g., "One day at a time"). And, remember, knowledge and accurate information is power, share this information with individuals, if needed. 

Are there other strategies or recommendations that have been effective for the participants you support? If so, let us know! Please send any suggestions or  questions related to this email or requests for additional resources to RA-basprovidersupprt@pa.gov