Pays de Lozère: the Montessori method, more than a pedagogy, a disorder in everyday life

For months, the Aubrac specialized center in Saint-Germain-du-Teil has been applying the empowerment-based method. The results are more than conclusive. Inform.

They are at home, the choice is yours.Based on this logic, Nathalie Gaumond-Plaza, the director of the specialized reception center Aubrac (Mas), located in Saint-Germain-du-Teil, could only validate the implementation of Montessori pedagogy in her establishment of more than fifty residents.

A method based on the choice, decision-making and empowerment of the citizens cared for in the establishment, that is, people with severe disabilities. The only Clos du Nid establishment of its kind to experiment and apply this project to the department of Lozère. Free lunch He was recently able to attend a presentation day in the company of the entire management and pedagogy team.

Originally a real gamble. “It was necessary to train staff, involve people from the field and teams “, warns Anne-Laure Tichit, the head of the service.

It should also be noted that this method had been deployed a few times before in such structures. Professor Boulenger, a leading doctor at all the association’s establishments, knows this. But this challenge did not frighten anyone. He agrees: “Why wouldn’t this work? It has already been shown in other establishments. This method is used to get them to make decisions, to take on a social role. “

A project wanted by President Blanc

To return directly to the source, this project was born from the will of the Mas Aubrac team. But also the president of the Clos du Nid association, Jacques Blanc. This neuropsychiatrist has long evoked this method of education, initially used in a young audience or in nursing homes, in elderly people with cognitive deficits.

This allows them to choose what interests them“This is the meaning of this teaching method: learning to make decisions based on freedom, support and encouragement.”

For a few months now, this new reality has been lived in a unit of twelve neighbors of the establishment: the Doulou unit. A team of a dozen professionals implements all the necessary provisions to better implement this automation.

The results? Obviously they are positive.Mas psychologist Caroline Noé advances. There is a real dynamic. Neighbors are actors and less demanding. “Director Nathalie Gaumond-Plaza continues:”The goal is to really try to reduce it “Do it instead.” A conclusive experiment, with positive results. There is a noticeable improvement in the atmosphere.

In addition, members of the management and support teams agree: “It is a philosophy rather than a method.“A novelty that has yet to be completely tamed but that seems to have definitely entered the daily life of the Mas. Both that of the teams and that of the neighbors. Waiting for the implementation of Montessori, perhaps, in other establishments …

How does this method work?

The management team and professional support staff.

The Doulou unit is therefore the center of attention. Where the mechanisms work and where they tend to change habits. “For example, we try to make a choice when it comes to washing. A choice between a bath or a shower in particular,” says psychologist Caroline Noah.

Another example, in the morning at breakfast, or during meals. “We leave the choice between tea or coffee,” adds the head of service, Anne-Laure Tichit. The psychologist insists: “This is the case of a resident who only comes to eat for dessert, being greedy. Then she eats the dish, and therefore out of step with the others.”

But this choice has limits. Therefore, the team questions the acceptable on a daily basis. To the director to continue: “You have to leave space to express yourself and make these famous elections. That’s why a framework is maintained. There is also a community life to respect.”

“We have to adapt to them and not the other way around”

How does this choice materialize? With looks, gestures, noises … “We work on questions and habits and try to put words into practices that have been around for a long time”, underlines the psychologist. In other words, insist on mechanisms that develop differently. “Too many changes can be negative,” he said.

Another question: does everyone have a choice? “Of course we adapt things according to the degree of disability,” reveals the psychologist. To organize this follow-up, action sheets have been designed and are part of each resident’s personalized project, to monitor their progress.

“We have to adapt to them and not the other way around,” argues a determined director. Professor Boulenger cuts it off: “And to make their lives as enjoyable as possible.” Caroline Noah concludes: “Respecting everyone’s adjustment time and avoiding jealousy is very important. Sometimes this is not the time, we don’t need to insist. But even small sessions two to five minutes are useful. “

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