Gentle Teaching by ert634


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Gentle Teaching

Gentle Teaching is a relationship-based, interactional model for helping those with challenges of behaviour and learning
to feel safe and connected with others. By creating an environment of trust, engagement, and shared interactions, Gentle
Teaching, helps both the parent/caregiver and the vulnerable person to enjoy a mutually valuing relationship.

In Gentle Teaching the behaviour of both the caregiver and the child/adult are objectively analysed to identify factors that
positively or negatively impact person-to-person interactions. The Gentle Teaching approach is attentive to environmental
variables that may trigger challenging behaviours or difficulties with learning. However, it is the everyday person-to-person
interactions that form the focus for intervention. Attention seeking, avoidance of demands, inability to communicate,
hyperactivity and boredom are often cited as having a functional relationship in the onset of challenging behaviour. These
problems are most often created by, or are the outcomes of, human interactions that, for whatever reason, are poor in quality
or quantity.

Gentle Teaching means embracing a process of mutual change. The mutual change process has to start with the caregiver. By
increasing the number of pro-social interactions, creating a high frequency of success in learning, and lowering the number
of maladaptive and inequitable interactions, the caregiver helps the individual to build trusting, safe, and mutually valuing

Because Gentle Teaching has a relationship-based ethos, caregivers are expected to hold all individuals in high regard despite
their current lifestyle or behavioural repertoire. Caregivers model a clear set of values and boundaries that uphold the dignity
of both the caregiver and the vulnerable person and steer clear of punishing and controlling strategies. By responding in
a respectful and non-contingent manner to behaviours that challenge, caregivers ensure that the relationship remains
equitable and fair. Gentle Teaching does not preclude the use of restraint as caregivers have a duty to protect themselves and
the vulnerable individual from harm.

Compliance and the completion of the activity are not the primary goals. Activities are used to facilitate joint attention. They
become the vehicles for teaching the value and goodness inherent in human interactions. Well -researched and traditionally
accepted strategies such as shaping, fading, chaining, social reinforcement, errorless learning, visual strategies, etc. are
combined to restructure maladaptive interactions and fortify adaptive interactions.

Gentle Teaching is not a technique nor is it a static set of values, goals, and strategies that are universally applied to anyone
without noticing that they are individuals. It is a dynamic and personalised approach that seeks to harness the power of
human relationships to help bring about real and lasting change in people lives.

This summary has been adapted from materials by Dan Hobbs

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