Today marks the beginning of National Developmental Educators Week, which aims to celebrate all of the remarkable developmental educators around Australia. As allied health professionals, Developmental Educators, also known as DE’s, are multi-disciplinary specialists who work in a variety of roles including disability, mental health, human service and educational settings. Taking a practical and holistic approach to their work, developmental educators support people with disability to achieve their desired learning goals.
National Developmental Educators Week is the perfect opportunity for us to acknowledge how proud we are of all the wonderful and important work our developmental educators do in South Australia.
Meet Lauren Scutcheon, Behaviour Support Practitioner and Developmental Educator
For the last five years, ever since graduating with a Bachelor of Disability and Developmental Education in 2015, Lauren has been working as a developmental educator in Adelaide. And, as luck would have it, this week Lauren will be celebrating her one-year work anniversary with us here at The Benevolent Society!
Being a developmental educator is more than just a career for Lauren, it is something that she also has a great deal of personal experience with too. “I grew up with a sibling who has a significant physical disability, as well as having my mother who provided respite care for young children with a disability through both in home support and as a school services officer at a primary school,” said Lauren.
“I chose to become a DE as the core essential of a DE is to work holistically across the lifespan of a person with disability to increase their quality of life and address issues which may affect their function, independence and social inclusion,” added Lauren.
Lauren works with people with disability of all ages in Adelaide. The areas of support that she is most passionate about and aims to eventually specialise in are sexuality, gender identity and sexual health. When it comes to supporting her clients, Lauren takes a practical, person centred approach. “This means not only working with the person themselves, but also their extended support networks and people that are important to them. The aim of the therapeutic supports is to increase their quality of life, social interactions and community engagement, and supporting them to live the life they are wanting,” said Lauren.
When asked if there was anything that she’d want a prospective client in need of support to know about her services and how it might be able to help them, Lauren has this to say: “Developmental Educators are able to provide a wide range of services from behaviour support to functional assessments, teaching functional life skills (social, communication, daily living, self-care, recreation and employment), specific educational programs around areas such as social skills, sexuality and school readiness. We work around the individuals goals and develop personalised and holistic approaches to support. If they are unsure of what they would like their specific goals to be, a Developmental Educator can also support them in goal planning.”
If you would like to learn more about our Disability Services, call us on 1800 236 762.