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Little Ones Have Big Dreams, Too

Ann Donoghue Dillon, MEd, OTL
27 pages

Person-centered planning is a planning process that starts with a committed group of people gathering to engage in an ongoing and creative process of planning for someone who needs extra support in the coming months or years.  Person-centered planning is attractive to people who are seeking an innovative, informal, person-centered, community engagement approach to change as opposed to a more system-directed, formalized and regulated approach to planning for change. The process usually involves meeting in a comfortable environment of the family’s choosing, using flip charts and colorful markers to explore ideas, illustrate events, and engage in a process of change that is very visually oriented, creative, and uplifting. Each meeting is unique and each outcome is individualized and tailored to the child, family, and group of people engaged in the process. Person-centered planning helps a group work smartly and efficiently. Over several meetings, the group will define its specific purpose for planning, illustrate the full history of the child’s life (e.g., home, education, health, family), and bring in others with the “right” skills to help plan, establish a vision, and delineate realistic outcomes and action steps.


The targeted age group for the maps in this publication is children and youth through their early teens. Facilitators, parents, developmental services agencies, school systems, positive behavioral support teams, mental health teams, Head Start agencies, wrap-around teams and early intervention teams might find this publication helpful.

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