August 25th – 31st is Speech Pathologist awareness week
We’d like to take a moment to honor all the fantastic speech therapists who contribute to making The Shepherd Centre such a wonderful place to teach children who are deaf to listen, socialise and speak!
This years’ theme is Communicate with confidence, a concept we can really get behind when we’re discussing children with hearing loss.
Speech Pathology Australia have released some interesting facts relating to communication disabilities:
- 1.2 million Australians live with communication disability
- Communication disability is largely invisible. Unseen and out-of-sight
- More confident communication helps maximise educational, health and social outcomes
- Communication is more than just speech.
The association have also released tips for successful communication*
At The Shepherd Centre we believe these are great tips to remind ourselves of when we are working with children with hearing loss, plus any members of the community who may be finding speech and hearing challenging.
- Always treat the person with the communication disability with dignity and respect
- Be welcoming and friendly
- Understand there are many ways to communicate
- Ask the person with the disability what will help with communication
- Avoid loud locations, find a quiet place
- Listen carefully
- When you don’t understand, let them know you are having difficulty understanding
- If you think the person has not understood, repeat what you have said or say it a different way
- Try asking the person yes or no questions if you are having difficulty understanding them
- Ask the person to repeat or try another approach if you don’t understand
- To make sure you are understood, check with the person that you have understood them correctly
- If you ask a question, wait for the person to reply
- Allow the person time to respond, so always be patient
- Speak directly to the person and make eye contact. (Though be mindful that there are some people who may not want you to look at them, e.g. some people with autism spectrum disorder)
- Speak normally. There is no need for you to raise your voice or slow your speech.
*Source: Adapted from SCOPE, Communication for All Booklet, http://www.scopeaust.org.au