Monthly Archives: April 2015

Speech Therapy: Communicating versus Observing

A person who has a functioning mind in a unconventional body can choose to either participate in life or watch life happening before them. As a mentor for the severely physically disabled, I like to ask the client what are their life goals and what do they see themselves doing when they reach adulthood. Most families of the locked-in clients assume that their child will be a life-long burden on them rather than seeing the child grow up and having a life of their own. As a speech therapist, you could be the light at the end of a very dark tunnel. You’ll be able to help these families find the right communication device for their loved one and that can help them realize a happy, fulfilled and independent lifestyle.

I know families who have children with severe developmental disabilities and had these families taken interests in their children’s future they would have more meaningful lives today instead of just moving these children through the special educational system and into day programs. If these ‘special individuals’ believed their lives were going to contribute something valuable to society, they would want to and have the right to make themselves heard. Teach them to stand up for their rights and to speak out for justice even if someone tries to silence them.

As I have discussed in many of my blogs, children with a voice are more likely to succeed than children without one. Someone can be just locked in and have only their eyes to communicate with but they can be intellectually normal or even be very intelligent. Communicating for people like myself is crucial in my ability to take care of myself and I do communicate my needs on a daily basis. As a speech therapist or a mentor, it will be your job to give your client an ability to make sure they are safe and well taken cared for. Communication is critical for any locked-in person!

Speech Therapist have the pleasure to give someone their independence.I love my job because I give children true independence and a voice.The speech therapist on the team is the point person who has the knowledge about how to give a child a voice of their own. The speech therapist IS the person to teach self-advocacy so an individual can take their lives into their own hands.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children