Practical tools to build resiliency and to prevent bullying, violence and abuse. Developed with and for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities.

What is Fullpower Healthy Relationships™?

This programme was developed with and for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities. It provides practical tools to build resilience and to prevent bullying, violence and abuse.

The interactive resource was developed over 6 years, in close collaboration with users with disabilities. It utilises the extensive expertise and skills of Irene van der Zande, the founder of Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, an organisation that served millions of people worldwide since 1989. The New Zealand Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development and InternetNZ provided funding for development and independent evaluations.

By following the dropdown box under Healthy Relationships tab at the top of this page you can access the complete interactive online resource for free (requires a browser with Flash installed).

A version for the visually impaired and blind is available free of charge, thanks to RG&EF MacDonald Trust. Please call us on 0800 543 769 to order the right version for you.

Click here to go to the free online version.

The Resource

Simple and effective stories and role-plays, with extra information, support and activities always at your fingertips.

Workbooks: Three Workbooks contain 60 comic style stories for users to look at, discuss and role-play. The stories have been developed, edited and added to during 6 years of development and trialling. They instil a set of 9 core skills that help everyone stay safe and act safe in a huge variety of situations and scenarios.

Start Here Booklet: A brief booklet gives facilitators the basic tools and steps to start practising with their learners within minutes.

Facilitators Poster: A colour poster summarises the tools and steps to enable facilitators to start facilitating right away.

Posters: Three size A2 and A3 colour posters show the 9 core skills taught in the corresponding workbooks.

Animated Stories: All 60 stories are animated with sound and interactive elements and are available for free online (see dropdown box under Healthy Relationships header above).

Facilitators Guide: A comprehensive guide gives facilitators in-depth background information, lists learning outcomes and has heaps of ideas, activities and homework tasks that extend the use of the resources and the learning. It also includes templates and copy sheets, certificates, posters and safety signs for home or class use.

More Information

The Resources Cover:

 Healthy Relationships

  • What are Healthy Relationships?
  • When Something is Necessary for Health and Safety
  • Making and Keeping Friends

 Saying Stop and Stopping

  • Speaking Up
  • Listening to What Others Want
  • Being a Caring Person

 Getting Help

  • What is Urgent?
  • Where to Get Help
  • How to Get Help
  • Understanding Your Right to Good Support

The programme is adaptable for younger ages and effective for a wide range of disabilities, including Autism/Asperger’s, Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities; dual diagnosis of developmental disability and severe emotional disturbance; Tourette’s Syndrome; post traumatic stress disorder; auditory and/or visual processing disorders; and physical disabilities that limit movement, such as paralysis, and/or that require aids such as walkers, braces, canes, service dogs, and/or manual or motorised wheelchairs.

The Evidence

Several Independent evaluations found that the programme was of high quality, easy to follow and enjoyable for students.

For the full reports, see The Evidence

Educators and parents liked the easy application;

  • “It’s the shiniest tool in my cupboard because it is used most often.”
  • “This programme is brilliant!” – “The animations, while simple, are able to convey complex ideas.”
  • “100% of my students have shown improvement.”
  • “The programme was high quality, easy to follow and enjoyable for students, particularly because of its interactive nature.”

Consistent behaviour change was achieved;

  • “Retention rates were good at least six months after the Healthy Relationships programme had concluded,”
  • “Positive behaviour changes were noted both in the classroom, during break times and at home,”
  • “… we have a very compliant very pretty girl and she was always saying yes and this form of compliance got her into trouble in the past. She says no now and that just means so much in terms of her own safety, it’s unbelievable!”
  • “[The student] usually has no way to express herself so she would lash out without ever talking about feelings; instead we sat down and asked what we should do with them after this incident rather than lashing out with violence. She recognised that it was not okay [to be kissed when she did not like it] and that they needed to sort it out with the other student. That is the miracle. Here no other programme does this so simply.”

It is appropriate to New Zealand and Pacific cultures;

  • “the character development of the online actors was thoughtful and appropriate to New Zealand and Pacific cultures without being exclusive to this region.”

A real need is met;

  • “Someone like X is likely to be running a household at some stage – so for X and most learners like her if you can get the actual, that checklist there, you would be achieving a heck of a lot. Cos you could sit down and say, “is it safe?”, “Is it okay with the people in charge?”, ‘What would my Mum think about this?”
  • “[The student] is now using the skills to stop the bully from touching her.”

It worked for people with autism;

  • “I wondered if Lisa would find situations to use the skills and am very pleased to see that she does;
  • There is a 21-year old bully in her school who behaves inappropriately. Lisa has grown in confidence through doing the role plays. She became more forceful and clearer and is now using the skills to stop the bully from touching her.
  • ” We went to the dentist this morning. I was able to calm her down by reminding her of the dentist story.”
  • “Elisabeth talked about feelings too, which is unusual for her.”
  • “…they’re great [the graphics] because they’re not over the top. For kids with autism if you put too much on them then they’re going to lose the lesson. “
  • “It has been very successful with him. He’s used it out in the environment.”

What are the Expected Outcomes

Four recent independent evaluations highlight that the programme is held in very high regards by teachers and confirms that the following outcomes are realistic:

  • People with intellectual disabilities, parents/caregivers, and professionals acquire relevant and useful risk reducing, social skills, knowledge, attitude and behaviour.
  • The disabled people use the skills to build positive, healthy relationships with their peers, people in general and with their supporters, family members and caregivers.
  • Reduction of sexual violence, abuse and neglect in families, Whanau, school and community committed BY or targeting people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Increase of adults with intellectual disabilities to fit into their environment, into society and to learn and reach their full potential.

Links to the New Zealand Curriculum

The programme helps schools meet the needs of students within Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum, in particular Level One: Health and Physical Education:

  • Personal Health and Physical Development:
    Safety Management: the students will describe and use safe practices in a range of contexts and identify people who can help.
  • Movement Concepts and Motor Skills:
    Positive Attitudes, Challenges and Social and Cultural Factors: The students will participate in a range of games and activities and identify the factors that make participation safe and enjoyable.
  • Relationships with Other People:
    Relationships: the students will explore and share ideas about relationships with other people:
  • Healthy Communities and Environments:
    Community Resources: the students will identify and discuss obvious hazards in their home, school, and local environment, and adopt simple safety practices

Facilitator and Teacher Training

This training is beneficial for carers and Special Educators, Teacher Assistants, Speech Therapists and allied professionals.

It covers theoretical foundations and practical applications of the programme, how to engage students, how to use fun learning and coaching techniques, how to adapt and use the resources for a wide range of disabilities and how to transfer the skills from the classroom to daily interactions. Participants get effective tools to build a common understanding and culture of respect and successful communication.

Training is offered via Zoom or individual workshops.

To find out more, or book a workshop

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