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  • Writer's pictureCurtis Stanley

Be a Guide, Not the Hero: The Importance of Supportive Guidance in IDD Services




In the world of IDD services, the role of a service provider goes beyond just offering assistance. It is about making a meaningful impact. Empowering clients to lead fulfilling lives and fostering their independence.


The Hero vs. The Guide:


In many narratives, the hero takes center stage, swooping in to save the day, and receiving all the accolades. In IDD services, however, the support provider or DSP should support the client to be the hero of his or her own story.


Here's how:

  1. Empower Independence: A hero may strive to do everything for the individual with IDD, thinking they are helping. However, being a guide means empowering the individual to develop skills, make choices, and gain confidence in their abilities. Independence is a vital aspect of a fulfilling life, and being a guide helps individuals achieve it.

  2. Respect Autonomy: Heroes often make decisions on behalf of others without considering their preferences. A guide, on the other hand, respects the autonomy of the individual. Engage in open communication, involve the client in decision-making, and ensure that their choices are honored.

  3. Promote Self-Advocacy: One of the key roles of a guide is to help individuals become self-advocates. Instead of speaking for them, help them express their needs, desires, and concerns effectively. This skill is invaluable in navigating various aspects of life.

  4. Foster Growth: Heroes may focus on short-term solutions, while guides have a longer-term perspective. Being a guide means helping the individual grow and develop over time. Help the client set goals, track progress, and adapt support as needed.

  5. Building Meaningful Relationships: A guide builds a genuine, supportive relationship with the individual they are assisting. Take the time to understand their interests, strengths, and challenges. This relationship goes beyond a transactional interaction and fosters trust and emotional well-being.

  6. Promote Inclusion: Guides actively work towards the inclusion of individuals in their communities. Advocate for accessible environments, encourage participation in social activities, and promote the understanding and acceptance of diversity.


In the world of Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), the focus should always be on being a guide, not a hero. Guides empower and foster independence, ultimately helping clients become the heroes of their own stories.


Here at Cura, we strive to enable the guides with tools to better support person-centered care to their clients. Join us in revolutionizing IDD services and empowering individuals to live a life full of possibilities and self-determination.


Have a great week!

Curtis & Your Cura Team



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