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Laura is 22 years old and has Wiedemann Steiner Syndrome. I discovered quite early on that there were going to be many different professionals involved in Laura’s life.
Having so many people involved with Laura’s care results in lots of different information to communicate. Each individual who works with her needs to know about all the important information that we collectively have learned about Laura, who she is, and how she understands the world around her.
As Laura’s mother, through our experiences, I have learned what certain facial expressions mean, and what particular behaviours are likely to have been caused by. Additionally, I am the central point at which all reports regarding Laura’s care come together.
The challenge for me was: How do I convey all this accumulated knowledge to each professional Laura will encounter? Someone told me about something called a “Personal Passport” and gave me the address to a website that explained all about it. After checking the website, I decided to make one for Laura. It has proved invaluable. She carries it with her at all times in the form of an A5 booklet. I also email a copy to anyone who is concerned with her care.
We used the CBF’s template of a behaviour support plan and traffic light system in Laura’s passport. When we first discovered the CBF, we were struggling to make sense of Laura’s behaviour, and they provided the support and tools to help us understand the function of Laura’s behaviour. I am so grateful to the CBF for the knowledge, skills, and training that I have received from them over the years. They have made a huge difference to not only Laura’s life but to all of us as a family.
Laura’s Communication Passport has come with a long list of benefits, including accountability, versatility/mobility, empowerment, and helping Laura feel and act her best! Laura’s Passport teaches others the best way to communicate with Laura, and where there is good communication, there are much better outcomes for that person.
Kate, Laura’s mother
The information about Communication Passports on this webpage is taken from Kate (Laura’s mum), Jenny (Laura’s sister) and Laura’s fantastic website. Go to www.mycommpass.com to find out more. You can download Laura’s Passport and make your own.
Update April 2021! An amended version of the Cartoon Communication Passport (Adam’s) is now available on the website. The passport now covers sensory issues, Pica, and epilepsy, as well as many other situations and a Positive Behaviour Support Plan. Communication Passports allow people with severe learning disabilities to be supported in positive and active ways, enabling peoples’ voices to be heard. They are also good teaching tools for staff.
Laura has a severe learning disability. She has a great happy life but her mother's greatest concern for Laura is her Pica behaviour.