The Anatomy of a Great Direct Support Professional

Direct support professionals don’t get enough credit for the life changing work that they do. They commit their lives to the primary role of supporting the developmentally disabled people on a day-to-day basis. People with developmental disabilities are valuable individuals who have skills that can contribute to society. Our direct support professionals do the important work of guiding them and preparing them until they can be independent to function as a part of their community.  They attend to their needs through a personalized routine that encompasses personal needs, physical assistance, social support, and even recreation so they can live life to the fullest. Here are some things that make up a great direct support professional.


Observant eyes



People, no matter what circumstance they are in have value and our direct support professionals see that. In a world filled with noise and distractions, it’s easy to miss a lot of important details at work. Our direct support professionals do the critical task of being observant. They pay good attention to their clients to see what works for them and what doesn’t. Delivering specialized care to the developmentally disabled every day is not an easy task. A small distraction can increase the chances of mishaps and an unrecognized hazard can lead to injuries on the job.


Our direct support professionals know how to focus and set their minds to become keen observers. They are capable of assessing the environment or situation well and notice small details because every aspect is crucial when delivering personalized care. Aside from the environment, our direct support professionals are good at seeing through their clients. Being observant, they are more attuned to their surroundings and can understand their clients better. They can pick up how their clients feel just by paying attention to the small things they do or gestures they make and adjust how they react. They are more mindful and understanding because they observe situations well.


Ears that truly listen



The truth is, most people aren’t good listeners but that doesn’t mean their hearts are not set on helping. We are just accustomed to passively listening and waiting for the opportunity to speak and offer help thinking we’ve truly understood them. That’s why a lot of us say no one really listens to us even after talking to the people in our lives about what’s going on in our heads. The goal in listening is to allow the other person to feel or know that they’ve been heard.


Our direct support professionals buckle down and listen to their clients attentively. They don’t rush to connect with them and say “I get it” then start talking about their piece or their experience as an attempt to show understanding. They genuinely listen and show their clients that what they’re saying is important because it is. To truly feel their client’s situation they ask questions instead of jumping in with their personal experience because they understand that everyone has a different experience on things no matter how similar the situation is.


Having spent a lot of time together, our direct support professionals probably know what’s going on in their client’s heads the moment they start talking. Despite this connection, they remain in a mindset of being curious about what they’re thinking because they are aware that no matter how long you’ve known each other, you can never truly know what’s going on in another person’s head.



A voice to communicate what is essential


There is tremendous value in a voice. It can communicate what is essential, speak to avoid misunderstandings, share ideas, and be a source of comfort. Our direct support professionals know that their voice is powerful in their line of work. Communication is crucial when they attend to clients with developmental disabilities. They are the ones who spend almost 24 hours a day caring for them so they see the whole picture. They use it to ask questions to know the best way they can be of help to their clients. There is no universal approach to caring for the developmentally disabled. It’s important for direct support professionals to use their voice to know what their client likes and dislikes so they can adjust how they approach them.


Our direct support professionals are the experts of their clients and any interaction they have is a crucial part that possibly create a better life for these individuals. They are flexible in dealing with the different attitudes of their clients and they welcome all of it. With their words, they can create a better atmosphere where their clients will want to listen, cooperate, and work with them in achieving their goals. When life challenges their clients, they are that comforting voice that assures them they can get through it together.


Hands that are always ready to help




The goal is to ensure that all people with developmental disabilities are given the opportunities and support needed to have the highest quality of life they can possibly attain. To live a good life in their own homes and be able to function as a part of their community. Our direct support professionals are the helping hands that will turn that goal into a reality. When they have clients who find it difficult to perform daily living activities, their hands guide them until it’s safe to let go and have them do it independently.


Our direct support professionals are dedicated individuals invested in their client’s success. Their hands are either always free to offer help or occupied with carrying out what is needed in order for their clients to achieve every milestone set. It’s their passion to help that drives them to pursue their client’s goals no matter how hard it gets or how long it takes.


A big heart



Our direct support professionals have a big heart and it radiates with love, care, and compassion. They embrace the role they play in the lives of their clients who are developmentally disabled. The dedication they have to provide the best quality service for each of their clients is incomparable. They don’t just think of them as clients, they care for them like they are family. They don’t just go to work to get paid, they make it their life. Our direct support professionals foster lifetime relationships with their clients making sure they feel accepted,  appreciated, and loved. 1st Choice Family Services creates an environment for them where they matter just like any other human matters. Together, they give people with developmental disabilities the highest quality of life they can possibly imagine.