National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week was celebrated from September 9-15 to acknowledge the important work of DSPs, who provide quality life-enhancing supports and services to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
In New Jersey, 13 Matheny personal care assistants received special recognition on September 11 at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick for DSP professional training they have received from The College of Direct Support at the Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. In addition, Matheny PCA trainer Brenda Hoagland was honored as New Jersey’s first credentialed DSP. About 60 of Matheny’s employees have either completed or are enrolled in The College of Direct Support, more than any other facility in the state.
Safy Diedhou, one of Matheny’s PCAs enrolled in the program, says DSP training prepared her to handle difficult situations. “Without DSP training,” she points out, “there were tools I was missing. I didn’t know how to deal with emotions. I wasn’t comfortable dealing with certain challenges. When a patient was difficult, I didn’t know what was appropriate to make them comfortable. Now, anything that comes my way, I’m ready for it.”