What is Gentleness?

Gentleness is acting and speaking in a way which is considerate to others.

It is using self-control in order not to hurt or offend anyone.  You can be gentle with people and animals in the way you touch them and the way you speak to them.  To be gentle with things means to be careful so that they will not break or be hurt in anyway. 

Gentle teaching is also a teaching approach.  As such, it has four initial teaching purposes; to teach others to feel safe, loved, loving and engaged.  Support workers learn to use their presence, hands, eyes and words as their primary teaching tools to uplift and honour others.

Gentleness towards others, in spite of what anyone does, or does not do, is the critical factor

P.A.T.H.  -  Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope

PATH, designed and developed in 1991, is a tool to address long and short range planning.  TSEN holds a PATH for every individual once a year.  PATH is used in planning, to keep a focus on what the individual wants to explore and accomplish.  The process of having a PATH done is very exciting.  The individual creates invitations and invites people who are important in their lives.  The guests can be family, friends, support workers, co-workers…anyone the individual values in their life.  Each path is done with an experienced facilitator to keep track of ideas and steer the process in the right direction.  There are seven steps in a PATH.

Step 1 – The Dream…Time is spent focusing on the individuals identity, his/her dream and ultimately their North Star.

Step 2 – The Goal…This step chooses a time just beyond where we can predict comfortably (6 months, one year or two years) and goes there for a few minutes.  A number of goals are set with the individual for this time.

Step 3 – Now…Everyone at the PATH is brought back to the present.  What is everything like now?  This gives a ‘snapshot’ of what the individual’s life looks like now.  Are they working?  What do they belong to?  What are they working on?

Step 4 – Enroll…Who do you need to enroll to achieve your goal?  We at TSEN are striving for everyone to be interdependent, not independent; we all work as a team and depend on each other.  The facilitator will ask for specific people to contact in order to start the process of reaching the goal.

Step 5 – Stronger…The real questions is “What do we need to do as a group, team and/or family in order to be strong enough to reach the goal and keep this team moving forward?”  The facilitator will help provide ways to stay strong and focused.

Step 6 – First Steps…These are actions that can be taken almost immediately (i.e. by tomorrow or next week).  It does not need to be gigantic, but if the process is going to begin, it is essential that it begins now.

Step 7 – 6 Months…This is a guideline of where the individual will be in relation to his/her goals in 6 months from now.  The ‘6 month’ step is a way to stay on track...”mini goals’ that will lead the individual down the path to his/her larger goal.