David Pitonyak is an internationally recognized behavioral consultant who works directly with individuals experiencing challenges, and also provides consultation and training to schools and agencies that provide support services. Pitonyak teaches that difficult behaviors result from unmet needs, and that those who engage in behaviors we find challenging are struggling to communicate with us; to be seen and understood, and to have their health and personal histories treated respectfully and seriously. Too often, individuals with disabilities feel lonely and powerless, trapped in lives that are lacking in the autonomy, connection, and joy they see others experiencing. Pitonyak is also known for stressing the importance of care for those who provide support. One of his most profound lessons is that our own needs for safety, growth, belonging, etc., must be met before we can meet the needs of others.
“Loneliness is the only real disability.” David Pitonyak