Inclusive Communication versus Real World Schools
My job recently celebrated its twenty-ninth anniversary of helping children gain the communication skills needed to graduate to participate fully at their district-based school! This idea works if the child is placed in an appropriate program where they will be doing the same kind of programming at their new school. My current client is not thriving well in her public school because she isn’t receiving the same intensive support as my job gave her. As her mentor who has worked with her at both schools, I believe that if we were able to adapt everything to the level of support previously received that she could be performing at the same success rate as prior to transition.
Communication is for life and not inclusively for school. Children need support with communication within all aspect of their lives because our goal is for our clients to have the communication skills to be able to be be a part of their community. Communication is the way locked-in individuals can fully participate in their communities and schools at their full capability.
As a mentor, my goal for every mentee is for them to be able to communicate without verbal prompts and without follow up questions. My goal is for children to communicate independently with their device – no prompts.
Severely disabled children must start communicating at an early age and they must continue communicating all through life. My philosophy is if I can get someone communicating very young, they will have a better chance of living a full and meaningful life. Communication is the essence of a full and productive life which is why we want the receiving team to give our graduates as close to the same amount of much needed support. My role as the mentor is to follow our clients to their new school districts and support them at the new school. My advice to new speech-language pathologists is to get clients communicating independently as soon as possible, as they will have a better chance of having a full and independent life.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children