Lafayette Industries in Manchester recently launched a unique area within the work setting that uses state-of-the-art technology to help individuals with difficulty moderating sensory input, emotions and interaction.

Positive Behavior Center Works at Lafayette Industries

It’s a fast-paced, goal-driven world. Profits continue to be the main priority of companies, but there seems to be a recent shift in how achieving such goals is attained. Companies like Target, Google and Aetna are investing in mindfulness programs for their employees to ensure they are able to deal with the stresses of corporate America. Why not workshops too?

The employees of Missouri’s Sheltered Workshops are no different. The stress of meeting deadlines and working with differing personalities is real. In fact, adults with developmental disabilities are more likely to have difficulty regulating their emotional states for a variety of reasons. This is especially true for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Common characteristics of ASD include difficulty with sensory modulation, emotional self-regulation and social interactions. As the population of adults with ASD in the workplace rises, it is increasingly important that supports known to address such difficulties are in place.

Lafayette Industries in Manchester anticipated these needs and recently launched the Positive Behavior Center (PBC), a unique area within the work setting that uses state-of-the-art technology and innovative programming. They were able to do this by receiving a Capacity Building grant. The PBC allows employees to learn to be aware of their emotional state and sensory needs and promote positive behavioral changes that overcome barriers to successful employment. The program is designed to promote independence and self-regulation, while utilizing key components of evidence-based practices that afford the employee the opportunity to maintain employment of his/her choice. This leads to improved self-confidence and social interaction.

Since its launch three months ago, they have provided 477 minutes of services. This has included 50 sessions involving seven different workers with a 90 percent success rate in getting the employee back to a state where he/she resumed work within 10 minutes and was productive the rest of the day. This has increased production efficiency, diminished production staff time involvement and received overwhelming endorsement from the parents/guardians of the individual, and Lafayette considered it an overall resounding success. They are planning to expand the program this coming year and will report back with the results.

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