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Marco Iammarino – Developmental Educator

1. What does your role involve?

I work with people who are referred to our services, usually to develop a Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP). A PBSP may assist a person to build on their existing skillset to encourage more positive behaviours while minimising challenging behaviours. It may also assist with developing new skills such as self-monitoring and de-escalating when necessary.


I work directly with clients, as well as with their relevant supports such as their family, support staff, other Allied Health professionals and other agencies.  


Every client is unique, so it’s an individualised approach.  Initially, I aim to establish rapport with the person and open the lines of communication. Then I strive to meet the person’s needs and assist them with their NDIS services.   


I also provide training for staff and relevant stakeholders about the implementation of the PBSP, or support strategies relating to the person’s skills. The focus of training is to promote a unified approach in how we work with the client.  



2. What do you enjoy most about your work? Why do you work in a disability team?

The favourite part of my job is working with people; assisting them in developing new skills or building on their skill set. Enabling people to lead the life of their choosing.


I’ve worked closely with people throughout my working life, both as a Registered Nurse and a Developmental Educator. It is something I find extremely rewarding. I’ve been doing this for 30 years but I still love what I do, always learning something new along the way.


3. What do you think are the most important things about providing a good service for our clients?

It’s being able to respond to the client’s needs. People approach us for a variety of reasons. Our response is to always strive to meet their needs, and to help them.  


We are approachable, welcoming all people from all walks of life and being flexible in the way we provide our services. We also aim to establish trust with the people we work with and support. This can be achieved by treating everyone with respect and delivering on the promises we make.


4. Can you give an example of a successful client relationship you’ve had/you have now?

I’d like to share the story of a person that I worked with a while ago. He was an adult who had lived most of life with a foster family in the country. The family were quite isolated so the world that he knew was his foster family. His foster parents were ageing and had serious health conditions, so we were asked to provide respite emergency accommodation in the Adelaide metropolitan area. The thing that really stayed with me was that when he moved into the house, he wouldn’t leave his room, not even to answer the front door. We worked with him to build his self-confidence and self-esteem. I remember how weeks later, he went to the letterbox at the front of the house and smiling, declared “I did it!” as he returned inside.


5. What specifically made this relationship work? What needs were met and what goals achieved?

A consistent approach from everyone on our team helped build rapport based on common respect and trust in each other.

Communication was also a key, listening to the person and allowing him to become the person he wanted to be. Being there and providing understating and compassion helped him develop his self-confidence and self-esteem.    


6. How do you make sure your client is satisfied with the service we provide?

We can ask them, but we recognise that not every client is capable of verbalising their thoughts and feelings, or they may not have the confidence to do so.


In many cases, satisfaction may be determined by the fact that they renew our service contract, or refer us to a friend or family member. We get a lot of new clients as a result of direct referrals. We want our clients to feel valued.   


7. If there are challenges for our clients, what sort of initiatives can we put in place to support them?

We receive a lot of referrals from clients with complex support needs, some of whom don’t have support in the form of family or friends.


We recognise that all people need to have a broad range of social connections across the general community.


We support people who have become socially isolated to re-engage with others. Especially if there are barriers such as lack of social skills, communication, psychosocial or trauma-related issues.


In terms of initiatives, we can increase awareness about the range of our NDIS services and supports available across the community, and assist clients in engaging with these services.  We can also work with clients to maximize the use of their NDIS plan and allocated funds to work on achieving their goals.


8. We pride ourselves on working alongside our clients, at their pace – why do you think this is so important? 

My approach is to look at every person as an individual, each one with their own unique dreams and aspirations. I may have worked with many people and can draw from my own experiences, but every new referral is always a fresh one. It’s a clean slate. There is no template when it comes to working with individuals.


If you believe that one of our Developmental Educators may be able to assist you or a loved one, click here 




T: (08) 8273 7190
[email protected]

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