Competence development

Competence development focuses mainly on teaching a person with special needs new competences, for social participation, having a job, performing daily self-care activities and doing the things they want to do. It starts with analyzing the strong and weak points of the person, the aspects which strengthen the capacity of the person and the aspects which weaken the capacity. This analysis follows as much as possible personal characteristics and motivation of the special person and the strong points are emphasized as much as possible.

In subsequent phases with the use of reward activities with increasing complexity are teached. If necessary specific training or therapy is used to control challenging behaviors.


Compared with gentle teaching

Developing new competences is done in gentle teaching mainly in the 4th dimension, after establishing companionship. Increasing the social skills of a person who lives within the community is useful and helps prevent negative interactions with others. But from the perspective of gentle teaching, developing competences can never be seen separate from the focus on teaching the person to feel safe, loved, loving and connected.


If we only increase the competences it will seem that the person gets stronger. But when the gap between this ‘outside’, the representation, and the real emotional capacity of the person is too big, the person may feel too much tension.


Using coffee or cola or other things as an extra encouraging for the person to try new activities, is not a problem in gentle teaching, but we don’t use it as a reward. This would mean that we don’t give it to the person if he doesn’t do what we want him to do. The person will get it, regardless the degree of participation in the activity we are doing together. It’s just an extra support as long as our relationship isn’t stimulating the person enough.


Manipulating behaviors by systematic reward or punishment is not in line with gentle teaching, because it will harm the relationship with the person.