The first thing you need to know is that the first appointment is for you to assess whether our support is right for you. We want to be a good fit for your hopes and goals. There is no charge for the first meeting and no pressure. Meetings at the office are arranged for Monday or Wednesday, and after work hours are possible. The first meeting can be scary, so you can bring a friend, meet over the phone or go for a coffee, if that makes it easier.
Parley's Consultant appointments are not limited to 50 minute sessions, because we have work to do and sometimes that takes time. Within reason and your budget, we interact on an as-needed basis during business hours and we make ourselves available to deal with problems as soon as they arise. We adjust our hours when possible to suit your needs and schedule. We also work using email, phone or Skype if that is convenient. We may ask to meet to practice some changes in a community setting.
Our involvement in the beginning is more intensive and over time we become less and less involved so you can prove to yourself and significant others, that you can do it, without our help.
We aren't concerned about your IQ. Parley has a reputation for working with very bright individuals, and we work equally well with people who have limited educational capacity.
Be prepared for working on strategies in your everyday life which we’ll make easy, relaxing and even fun. An underlying foundation of our work is that all living beings learn to adapt to their environments – the important word there is “learn.” If cats and dogs can become stars on YouTube, you can learn a few new tricks too. Typically, you do homework with or without help, for not more than 5-10 minutes at a time. Sometimes self-directed work is taking data (counting) and watching a graph miraculously appear, sometimes it is study, and sometimes it is practice at doing something.
Throughout our work we encourage you to take charge and direct your support, particularly if you have paid supporters. You need to know how to self-manage and self-advocate with reasonable and accountable behaviour. If you need others to see you differently or treat you differently, we will help you to know how to do a good job of saying what you mean, and to be confident enough to say it well. The people who care about you will see it for the progress it is.
Whether or not you are directing supports or a workplace, good people-skills and communication skills are part of your learning. They enhance all actions, interactions, and reactions. Don’t hope (or worry) that we might turn you into someone you are not – we’ll work together to fit the skills you need, into your unique style.