Typically, the first thing I will hear someone tell me when I ask them why they have come to ask for help is “(any name here) can’t speak . They don’t let me know what they want or need. Help them..Help me/us”. Is it that communication is limited to words?
The main point of this post is to suggest that we use our whole body to communicate and interact with our surroundings. Looking at and being able to talk about this is an interesting way to get to know yourself – your strengths and weaknesses in interacting with others and the world around you. Can you describe them? What could you say about how you yourself do to communicate? Do you use gestures, words, a combination of these, written communication or forms of technology? How does the environment affect you. Are there breakdowns in function in any of these areas? Where if at all are the problems? Could you create your own list and answer these questions? It would be interesting to hear your comments about this question.
**Please don’t forget to consider the old fashioned forms of communication such as actually talking on the phone, handwriting a letter or being able to visually face a person and use basic eye contact when speaking with someone. These to me seem to be going by the wayside,
As a prospective parent or adult who may want my help please consider this from all angles and let me know what you think. Perhaps others such as your doctor, a teacher, a friend, family member or colleague at work can help you gain insight that would be meaningful to share. If you are a student who may be working towards entry into the profession of speech language pathology, recognize that looking at a person an getting to know you has required that we look more in depth, in a way that we never had to do so before.
If you are a student reading this article, i suggest that you look at the leaders project website link http://www.leadersproject.org/2016/08/26/. The questions that Dr Cate Crowley outlines, these critical-questions may be geared for early intervention (zero to age three), but, in my experience they could be modified and applicable to others so that you can get a more cohesive picture of your prospective client and come up with a more complete view of an individual. Thank you Dr. Crowley for providing this information! Another good resource is the work of Dr. A. Jean Ayres who writes about sensory integration.
Dr. Virginia Apgar did in 1952, developed that “Apgar Scale”. “https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a3074/ . It looks to me as if she saw the beginning need of looking at the whole person. One of the skills she assesses is respiration or breathing. She suggested that in assessing breathing – a passing score would be that the newborn was crying. Her scale reviews muscle tone heart rate, reflexes and skin color. It is not limited to one area and neither should be our thinking about this aspect of life. Are there aspects of the scale that should be revised?
If you look closely you may see much more about how a person conveys information to others. If you look closely and give this thought you may realize more than you may have at first about yourself or others around you!
. Please consider the fact and complete the fiend attached to help me get to know you