What if focusing on the behavior doesn't help?

Ideas That Matter

Cohosted by Inclusion Press & Good Things In Life


What if?

The key to understanding difficult behavior isn't focusing on the behavior.

With Yeiter, author of Lessons in Listening


June 8th 7pm - 8:30pm EST


Through story telling, Yeiter will illustrate a relationship-based approach to supporting people labelled as having difficult behaviors. 

This is for you especially if you are a parent or direct support worker concerned about the well-being of someone whose behavior makes life more challenging for themselves and those who are dedicated to supporting them.

This presentation introduces an idea that matters! We will dive deeper during an upcoming book club exploring Yeiter's book, "Lessons In Listening."


In this presentation you will learn...

The challenge of "challenging behavior" is not the behavior.

The challenge is to our understanding.  Understanding comes from listening to and identifying with an individual over time in a variety of ways.

How to change your mindset so you can be more at peace.

By shifting mindsets, heart sets, and skill sets, we are able to ensure a change in practice and experience positive changes in the lives of people disabilities and their supporters.

Stories of profound positive change.

Yeiter will share stories about listening and empathy that have resulted in remarkable changes in behaviour for people.


About Yeiter…

I went off to college in 1966 and got heavily involved in the peace movement, make love not war. I was drafted but at the 11th hour got out on a technicality, a miracle really. I decided to do some form of alternative service and ended up in the Spring of 1971 as the only male staff person on the second shift in a building with 150 women with "mental retardation" and labels of severe behavior problems. It was then that my curiosity turned into a sense of calling or vocation. These people were bizarre and I am not talking about the residents with disabilities! People with disabilities often seemed to require special behavior programs, physical restraint and heavy doses of medications like Haldol and Thorazine - - WHY? Their life circumstances often did not make any sense and were horrible beyond belief. This theory of sorts was later confirmed in 1983 when I attended my first Social Role Valorization workshop and later that year met John McGee who invited me to spend time with him in his Gentle Teaching clinic in NE. Over the years I worked inside and outside of formal human services in a number of different roles from direct support to management to consultant and teacher. I was blessed to be invited to do a lot of work with families who had children labeled as "behavior problems" by the public schools. 


This idea matters… A note from Jack and Lynda

Our introduction to Yeiter was “I have a book I would like you to consider publishing.”  It was a very simple email.  He thought we might have met several decades ago.  He sent his manuscript.

It was really good, so we began the publishing dance - mostly by email, then phone, and eventually Zoom, when we finally ‘met’ Yeiter.  He was profoundly unsure about the quality of his book, but as we worked, he began to believe that we really thought it was good (and it is).  He then mustered the courage to try this Book Club idea.  We think you will like it too.

We have been collecting people and stories about creating possibilities for people who have collected disability labels for decades.  We are the co-directors of Inclusion Press - which creates books, videos and training opportunities  - now mostly virtually.  We also hosted the Toronto Summer Institute  from 1984 until 2021 - when we concluded that production run with a Virtual TSI.   We continue offering Person Centered Ways to Build Community with PATH & MAPS workshops (virtually), and with this Book Club, are welcoming our Ideas that Matter series back on line.  

Yeiter’s book, Lessons in Listening, compresses 50 years of front line learning supporting folks with labels of being ‘difficult’.  It is packed with wisdom and stories. Engaging with Yeiter only adds yeast to the mix, so we look forward to meeting you - with Yeiter on June 8 for Lessons on Listening : A Masterclass Intro to An Ideas that Matter Book Club.

~ Jack Pearpoint & Lynda Kahn - Co-Directors - Inclusion Press

This is a must attend… A note from Genia

Sometimes I spend time with people who I care about but who drive me to my wits end. I'm not proud. But it is true. 

I have worried. I have fretted and I have become frustrated. 

I have wished for a solution and some of the programs out there promise a solution. But they have all felt out of alignment with my values. 

But I'm at my wits end so I need something or someone to help! 

When I read Lessons In Listening by Yeiter, I was reminded of what I knew to be true. And I learned all kinds of lessons on how to be a better listener. 

Deeper listening has helped me restore my whits and live my values. I am confident that it will do the same for you.

~ Genia Stephen, Founder of Good Things In Life and host of the Good Things In Life for Kids with Disabilities Podcast.