Two Positive Support Facilitators (PSFs) working with Scioto County Developmental Disabilities, Jeff Horner and Lori Snyder, have recently completed additional training to help teams for individuals with developmental disabilities use a trauma-informed lens to better understand a person’s entire life story. The certification program helps the facilitators have further insight into behavioral reactions in order to assist people to strengthen their resilience and have positive outcomes.
Prior to becoming PSFs, both Horner and Snyder had several years of experience working in the field of developmental disabilities. Horner started working with SCDD as a bus driver in 2012, and by the next year he was also working as a one-on-one aide inside the Vern Riffe School. Snyder joined SCDD 20 years ago as a substitute at the Vern Riffe School and she became a one-on-one after only a few months, in addition to serving as an independent provider for 22 years. She became a full-time teaching assistant in 2008.
“I’m very passionate and I love the job I do. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. The fulfillment you have for being able to help the individuals we serve, and to see their accomplishments, that’s the best part,” Snyder said.
In 2022 Horner and Synder were both hired as PSFs.
“As a PSF, we work with individuals and their families, guardians, providers, and SSAs. We’re just part of the team that takes the needs of the individuals we serve into consideration, and discover ways to help someone who is having bad days have better days. Sometimes it’s behavioral reactions to situations outside of their control and they need help, and sometimes it’s just helping them communicate their needs and wants in order to gain more personal autonomy. A big part of what we do is making sure that individuals’ rights are being considered,” Horner said.
Horner and Snyder each recently completed their Biographical Timeline Certificate program; a program to facilitate trauma informed and responsive care to help them better support individuals with developmental disabilities.
“A lot of people think that a biographical timeline, sometimes referred to as a trauma timeline, is something you can look at to see all the bad things that’s happened in someone’s life, but being positive is in the name of what we do. While those things are relevant, they also tell a story of someone who has survived. We get to learn some of the ways they have coped with these challenges, and it’s a really powerful story,” Horner said.
Snyder said the training provided valuable skills to help them uncover past experiences that the individual might have had, and helps them realize why they may be reacting a certain way currently as well as what a person needs to feel safe and understood in the present. Facilitating a learning experience through these timelines is an approach for the teams to gain a deeper understanding about ways they can help someone they support who is reacting in an undesired way.
“Many individuals we work with have had some trauma, but they also have a lot of good attributes. This tells you everything about them. It’s really telling you the story of their life,” Snyder said.
The certification was offered by Soulbird Consulting, and was completed online with occasional in-person sessions in Columbus over the course of 6 months.
For more information about the programs and services at Scioto County Developmental Disabilities, call 740-353-0636 or visit online at www.sciotocountydd.org, and like and follow them on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.