Producing concise, relevant, well-written reports is very important where the outcomes of our work are not easily measurable: without the information we provide in reports, the knowledge, skills and practice we provide when using Intensive Interaction can be lost.
Many people view report writing as the thing we groan about, the ‘boring’ but necessary part of our jobs. Here, Rosie Brookes argues the opposite – that report writing is the thing that underpins and showcases our work.
Without great report writing (or electronic reporting), we could fail to capture the amazing communicative exchanges people with profound multiple learning difficulties and complex needs can engage in through the use of this approach. Effective communication in reports allows the collation, organisation and presentation of this knowledge and the skills our Interaction partners present in a logical, concise form.
We should be agnostic as to the audience of the report – as the structure, organisation and language should convey the exact meaning intended and should be accessible to everyone – whether they are an Intensive Interaction Co-ordinator or someone who has never encountered Intensive Interaction prior to reading the report.
Alongside good report-writing, video and photographic evidence can be amazing tools to aid in documenting progress for an approach that doesn’t always meet criteria on a tick-sheet of progress.
A well-written report conveys the importance of the connections and communications encountered while a poorly written report can call into question the credibility of the approach, the company and your work and can frustrate the reader. In my experience, families and homes really value the time and effort taken to write something from a position of real understanding, that can showcase the close sense of connection between practitioner and communicative partner with profound multiple learning difficulties or complex needs.
Good reports give consolidated, up-to-date information, and can aid in planning and decision-making for future interactions and communicative opportunities to offer to our Interaction partners. How can you know where you plan to go next unless you document where you are now?
By Rosie Brookes, Us in a Bus Interaction Practitioner