Magazine article Personnel Journal

Strategies for Handling Specific Problem Behaviors

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Strategies for Handling Specific Problem Behaviors

Article excerpt

Not all employees who have learning disabilities are going to have the same problems on the job. Yet certain behavioral characteristics do tend to pop up more often among this labor group. In her booklet, "Supervising Employees with Learning Disabilities," Elaine Reisman offers advice on how to best manage specific problem behaviors often associated with learning disabilities. Here's an excerpt: Insecurity about role on the job and low self-esteem.

Look for opportunities to give positive reinforcement for even small steps in improvement. Be specific about what you're praising. Don't just say, "You're doing a good job." Instead, say, "You handled the data entry well. The typing was neat and correct."

When suggesting changes in behavior, use the "sandwich technique." Start with a positive comment, then explain the criticism, and give a specific suggestion for a way to improve the behavior. For example, "I like the way you greet people who have an appointment with me. But when you come back late from your break, I feel annoyed because I depend on you to be there. Please be sure to stay close enough on break so you can return on time."

Memory problems and inability to follow directions.

* Give step-by-step directions both verbally and in writing. Use illustrations if helpful. Post the instructions where the employee will be using them.

* Ask the person to repeat the instructions to you or demonstrate the task. Encourage questions.

* Be specific in giving directions: "Put these two boxes on the table next to the water cooler. …

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