“I’ve found a way to connect with people that makes them feel happy and comfortable,” shares Giselle about her work at Valley Village. Each day, she engages with clients. They talk, sing and dance together, depending on clients’ choices and what they’d like to do. She has been learning what helps clients succeed and what interactions and environments they like best. There are many ways to show our clients that you care about them. You need to pay attention to and learn to understand their non-verbal cues since many are nonverbal. Since her transition to working with adults with developmental and intellectual challenges, she’s decided this is where she wants to work for the duration of her career. Giselle has been with Valley Village for six months. Prior to joining Valley Village, Giselle worked at a preschool.
Giselle and one client have bonded through the unique way she communicates with staff at Valley Village. “She communicates using segments of the alphabet like a code. It’s a very smart way for her to communicate.” Giselle discovered the code when they first met. “I wrote it on the back of my name badge, so I could learn it and understand what she is communicating. It’s exciting to share conversations. We talk about family, sports, and the things we enjoy.” In the brief time Giselle has worked at Valley Village, she has been intentional about spending time with this client in particular. She recently asked Giselle if she wanted to work at her Valley Village group home, which is a big compliment because it’s a very personal transition in their relationship to be a care provider at her home. They share mutual trust and friendship. Giselle says, “She always thanks me for the care I provide, but it’s just what I do.” Giselle encourages her and strives to make her feel happy and smile. She shared that Valley Village is in the process of acquiring a device that will vocalize her client’s thoughts with her input. They are very excited about that and how it will help improve the way they communicate.
“When you take the extra effort to get to know someone, you help them to unlock their potential,” Giselle explains. She considers the type of care she’d want if she were one of our clients. She’d want the same approach to care that Valley Village takes. That is always top of mind in her approach. “The physical part of our work is the job. Getting to know our clients is from the heart. Don’t be afraid to put in the extra effort.”