Communication for Fun Purposes
As I went about my day, I realized that I would not have the ability to get my weekly manicure without the ability to communicate accurately. I want speech-language pathologists and mentors to remind our clients that communicating is both for work purposes and for recreational purposes. Our lives revolves us communicating with the outside world, and if we want the clients to be able to integrate into society, they need to communicate accurately and effortlessly. I want my clients to go into the community and practice communicating with the clerks or service providers, because they can see that communicating is not only for school, but it will give them the power to get what they want. I work with teenagers, and I take them out to cafes or book stores to help them to see what communication can do for them. As we have the knowledge that communicating is how we conduct our everyday business, we have to teach our clients that they will have the independence of conducting their lives with communication.
I feel that our clients tend to perceive that communication is only for academic purposes, which is not that motivating, so I take them out into the community and show them what communicating can do for them. Our clients usually have a stronger drive to work on their communication skills if they can see the cause and effect of communicating with their devices. I have the person tell me what they would like to do with me, and we go do it, with myself modeling how to order or tell the person what I need done and the mentee mimics the action. After I tell him or her what they did correctly and what we need to work on next session, they can see that they will become independent if they continue to work on the goal. By doing therapy in this format, the client sees that I am not just telling them that communicating will give them independence because they are seeing it for themselves, and they are also getting a real errand accomplished by themselves. I also find that my being young helps them to envision themselves doing this.
When you think about it, half of our daily communication is dedicated for recreational purposes, whether we are ordering food or pampering ourselves. Our clients should be able to see that the power of communication will bring him or her the same independence as any other individual. The individual with significant physical and speech disabilities needs to get a taste of this independence. I do this type of therapy to spark the hunger to want to communicate in the community in hopes that they will grow up with the desire to communicate in the community. I live in Berkeley, where the community is accustomed to working with people who have disabilities, but you can do this wherever you live. Don’t worry about holding up the line, as they will open another line to serve other people who are waiting to be served, just worry about teaching the client the power of communicating.
Until Next Time,
Enjoy Your Children.