The Hanging Out Program (HOP) involves a commitment to spend 10 minutes with a person giving them 100% of your attention. HOP was developed with people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities in mind, to promote and prioritise interaction as being a core part of the job of disability support work and to ensure that people had the opportunity to participate in meaningful interactions every day.
This guidance is taken from the HOP booklet (Hanging Out Program) and shows you, as an individual practitioner, how to put HOP into practice by giving time and space for regular 10 minute interactions and writing down what happened to celebrate small gains, meaningful moments and build on successes. However, for HOP to be most beneficial and effective, a system wide commitment to prioritise interactions is needed. To find out more about how HOP can be implemented as a team, please see the HOP booklet.
What you need
The HOP attitude, which includes:
- All people benefit from interactions.
- All people want to connect with another person – but this is hard for some people.
- Enjoying the company of another person is one of the most fundamental communication skills that needs to be supported.
- Part of our role in supporting people with multiple disabilities is engaging with them.
- Engagement must be meaningful to the person with a disability and the interaction partner.
- If the person cannot understand the “language” of the support person, then the support person must adapt their language. It should match the language of the person with a disability and what is meaningful to them.
Guidance and instructions
The HOP approach is very simple. It is about putting aside 10 minutes to spend with a person. In this 10 minutes 100% of the worker’s attention is given to the person with a disability.
- Decide when you will have HOP sessions (fixed time or fluid within a shift/the day).
- During the 10 minutes dedicated HOP time, what you do is up to you, but it is essential that you are focusing on the person.
- Sometimes the best way to start HOP is to just sit with the person, watch what they watch, listen to what they listen to, feel what they feel.
- Try different things with the person and watch how they respond. Do they respond quickly, slowly, negatively, positively, with interest, or withdrawal?
- Sometimes people respond best to things that they already do themselves. Observe what they do if you repeat a sound or a movement that they make?
- What is the quality of interaction? Is it slow, quick, loud, soft, simple, repetitive …? Does it seem to be meaningful to the person that you are with?
What to observe, assess and record
- Take 2-3 minutes to write down what happened. Keep it simple, catching your thoughts of what you felt was significant.
- A simple reflection sheet is available in the HOP booklet. Reflections can be made in every day language, requiring no specialist skills.
© Sheridan Forster
Email: [email protected]
For more information about HOP, a copy of the booklet to download, and videos follow this link: Hanging Out Program
A Facebook community with videos and chats about HOP is also available at: facebook.com/groups/hangingoutprogram/
Created October 2020