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Affirming respect – Intandem

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Lisa Powless, who is a DSP III / Behavior Tech at Lifeskills, has worked for the Agency for 13 years.  She began her career at the Children’s Learning Center working with children with Autism. Later, she worked part time until transitioning to full time in December of 2008. She completed certification testing as a registered Behavior Tech in April, 2016.

Today, she is also an advocate for protecting the people we support as an instructor in crisis prevention intervention.

“I want people to feel safe. They can come to me if they’re feeling disrespected,” she said, citing an incidence where one of the people in Lifeskills came to her and shared with her an upsetting experience.

An individual in her Lifeskills class was uncomfortable about something that had happened and wanted to report the incident, but felt unsure of himself.  He was confused by what had happened and needed to know what she thought.

After she heard him out, she affirmed his experience and assured him it would be the right thing to report it.

“I told him, ‘if you think it wasn’t safe, then it wasn’t; and if you think it was wrong, it was wrong’,” she said.

“I am here to make the people I work with the happiest most independent they can be.  I want them to be safe and respected and be able to make the choices that make them the happiest and be able to do things they love – things they have always dreamed of.”

She works to give them the tools and opportunities to self-advocate in a healthy, positive way and feel assured the staff that will have their best interests at heart.

“When he came in and told me what happened and asked what I thought,  I told him, ‘I believe it was true. I believe you’re not kidding,’” she said.

“They need to feel protected.  They want to be loved. Their stories – both happy and frustrating – are important to me,”