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A Person with an ASD’s Perspective on Person-Directed Planning

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Person-directed-planning has affected me in a positive way because it has allowed me to accomplish my goals of looking for a part-time job, meeting people on the spectrum, managing my mental health, and learning about autism spectrum disorders. It helped me identify goals that I wanted to work on, and I was supported in completing them by a community options facilitator.

I would like a new person meeting me to know what my goals are, so that they can help me plan my goals and accomplish them. When meeting a new person to work with, it would be helpful to know who the person is and if they have ever worked with someone on a person-directed plan before. It would help to have the meeting in a room that I’m comfortable in – for me that means having no one else in the room other than the people I’m working with, so I don’t get distracted by what other people are doing and so I am comfortable with talking about my goals. It also means having enough lighting in the room and meeting in a room that blocks out sounds from other rooms. It would also help to have a close friend or family member in the room, someone that knows me really well and could make me feel less anxious about the meeting. In terms of presenting the information, communication is important with everyone in the room. The problem that faces people on the spectrum is that things don’t come naturally to us. So we need to prepare what we want to say before we say it, otherwise it won’t come out right. I often communicate better by e-mail because I can think about what I want to say and write it out. I think it would help if the client and the person working with him/her could communicate by e-mail or writing when exchanging information with each other, so as to avoid miscommunication. For the planner, he/she should get to know the client before the meetings so that assumptions are not made about the person, and ask questions during the meeting so that you don’t misinterpret or assume anything.

Person-directed planning has helped me to explore what I want and learn how to accomplish them. It helps to have things written down on paper because it lays everything out clearly and neatly, and keeps you focused. I liked the idea of person-directed planning so much that I am working on a mini person-directed plan with my community options facilitator.