Supporting decisions: 4. What if I want to change my plan?

Decision 4: What if I want to change my plan?

When the Behaviour Support Plan has been developed the practitioner will provide training to everyone so they understand how to implement the plan.

There may come a point where parts of the plan are not working and the person and their supporters are still having difficulties.

If this happens the supporter can explain to the person that they have the right to have their plan changed. This involves contacting the practitioner and telling them what is not working and asking them to make changes to the plan so things can improve.

Asking the person to speak up about how they feel things are going with their plan can be hard for the person. Speaking up in general can be challenging for people with disability. This can be because:

  • they do not have a lot of experience in speaking up about what they think and feel
  • people may have not listened to them in the past
  • they may feel worried about what will happen if they do speak up
  • they do not know who they can talk too.

The first step in supporting someone with this decision is to ask yourself:

Who should support the person with this decision?

You may or may not the best supporter for this decision. It’s important not to assume you are.

Here are some questions to help you think about whether you are the right supporter for this decision.

  1. Have you asked the person who they want to support them with this decision?
  2. Do you feel you are the best person to support this decision or is there someone else that would be better placed to do this?
  3. Will you be able to give the person the information they need to make the decision without giving them your opinion?
  4. Have you provided them with options in a way they can understand? Think about how the person you support communicates. How do they usually need to have the information given to them so they can make a choice? How will they need information to make this decision?

After working with the practitioner things started to improve but there were some behaviours that were still happening and the strategies I was given didn’t work. I knew Lily was unhappy about them so I asked if she wanted me to call the practitioner to help us improve things and she agreed. It took a while to get an appointment but she came back and helped us with some other ideas. Things aren’t perfect but they are much better.  Lily is getting out more and I’m giving her more independence. She seems much happier now.

Picture of Cathy

Watch this video where Sidharth, Luke and their supporters explain the importance of allowing the person to decide to change their Behaviour Support plan.

Things the supporter can do to support the person with this decision

Checking in with the person to see how they think the plan is working is a good idea. It’s important all the supporters are communicating with each other so any issues can be raised as soon as possible.

Creating a safe space for the person can help them to share their thoughts and feelings. When talking to the person about the things that aren’t going well it might help to:

  • choose a place and time that is good for them
  • ask them how they are
  • listen to them without giving your opinion
  • empathise with what they are feeling “That sounds really frustrating”. “I’m sorry this is happening to you”
  • ask what you can do to help
  • if you don’t agree with what the person is saying avoid raising it with them now. Remember you want to create a safe space so they feel heard.

It’s hard for me use words when I am angry or sad, pictures help. The best time to talk to me is after dinner. The worst time is when I’m on my phone or listening to music.

Portrait of Lily


  • When is the best and worst time to talk to the person you support?
  • What can you do to help the person you support to speak up?

Using visuals can be a useful way to help people talk about how they feel. These communication cards can help you to communicate with the person you support about different things. Included in the set are some feelings cards. You might want to use with the person you support.

The ‘Do I want to change my plan?’ workbook is a tool to help the person to decide if there is anything they would like to change about their current Behaviour Support Plan.