UCA and AFANAS work together in an innovative program for adults with intellectual disabilities and behavioural problems

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The study aims to involve users in purposeful activities, reducing aggressive behaviours together

Since the year 1995, the non-governmental organization AFANAS Jerez and the University of Cadiz jointly collaborate in various research projects, which are intended primarily to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities. One of these studies is currently led by the professor Rodrigo García González-Gordon, who belongs to the Department of Psychology, consists of designing an effective psycho-educational intervention program for adults with deep intellectual disabilities, who present serious behaviour problems added.

In response, “we have carried-out a systematic and comprehensive study of the behaviour of an adult diagnosed with autism, profound intellectual disabilities and serious behaviour problems through the program Observer Video Pro 5.0”, a professional computer system performance analysis that allows you to collect, analyze and manage data of observation, using camera filming videos. The procedure, which was conducted with the aim of reducing the severity and frequency of behavioural problems, was governed by the process of assessment, behavioural intervention, therefore specific techniques were used, as well as, registers derived from the functional analysis of conduct, not forgetting the important use of the Computer System Video Observer Pro 5.0.

In this first stage in the evaluation of behaviour “operational definitions categorized the problems of conduct, while we analyzed the background and the consequences that maintained disruptive behavior (what actually causes a break abrupt), thereby establishing functional hypothesis”, marked-out the professor.

Subsequently, we applied an intervention program focused on an effected person, based on techniques of behaviour modification together with the CALS system (Inventory and Adaptive Skills Curriculum) in addition to collecting data through a computerized system for tracking bio-psychosocial registration, which analyzed the changes occurring in the physical and mental condition of the subject that was to be the matter of study. Thereafter, monitoring was carried-out to verify the effectiveness of treatment, work that determined “the methodology and the process of intervention followed, result effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of behaviour problems, as well as, the increase of the number of behavioural purposes”, explained Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez -Gordon.

The preliminary results encouraged the UCA team to implement the intervention system to other users, in particular a dozen service users of AFANAS. “This extension of work will be carried-out within a study englobe within the doctoral thesis of Candida Delgado Casas, who will receive training in the Netherlands to control perfectly the Observer Video Pro 5.0 program.” It is important to note that this type of software tool helps dramatically to study the behavior of these people. Something as Candida itself Delgado says “the practical effects will help us find the keys to someone who is self quit or to reduce any kind of disruptive behavior in these patients.”

A Social Integration Project

The main purpose of this project is to respond to the demands for action demanded directly by the care staff to intervene with this population and address their behavioural difficulties. A study that aims to solve a series of issues such as: “How can we evaluate and analyze objectively the behavior problems in adults with severe and profound intellectual disabilities?, How to design intervention programs that really are effective in reducing the frequency and severity of problematic behaviours?; How can we design individual development programs really effective for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities to engage in truly meaningful purposeful behavior?; and How do we have to design a training program, led by the care staff and relatives of people with severe intellectual disability and behavioural problems, which will result practical to improve the management of these users?”.

A project that has become “a challenge” because “until now, the project hasn't achieved what we want: to increase pro-social behavior, so that these people are involved in activities that take place in the community so we can direct their behavior to a function that has some purpose.” Put differently, include directly more people, who are affected severely in the process of developing goals and plans, as well as, involving family members and others, who can provide significant support in building a future filled with expectations and actions that allow their full integration into the community, concluded by the doctoral student.

tags» investigation disability

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