“Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savor their songs.” Nelson Mandela
Inherent to the purpose of language is its primary function to share things with another human being. Language is a social event. That said, it is not restricted to one-on-one speech therapy sessions, but rather it grows when modeled, used, and expected across all settings and with as many people as we wish to share our thoughts with. Our kids here at CTC have various language challenges. Encouraging them to access language, whether through speech, a voice out-put language app on an iPad, typing, or a combination of all these supports, is the mission of the speech department and the school. We invite families to touch and use devices as some of our children do. The children who are functionally non-verbal are testament to what amazing ideas exist in a human being. They have taught us, as a whole, to make the conversation fair by using the device as they would. This forces the speaking partner to slow down, this honors their way of accessing language, this levels the playing field which reduces anxiety and improves spontaneous speech production. The families who actively take part in sharing conversational moments with their children see the most gains, as the kids want most of all to share their ideas with their family. Eighty percent of predictive outcomes for all human beings becoming successful in life (with or without disability) are family support. Celebrate the Children is the child’s extended family and so we look to support them throughout the day and we wish to collaborate with families on how to extend that into the home. Problem solving natural, fun interactions with the child, which is layered with language validates their relationships with the family and empowers them to try what they have learned at school with their most important persons. Group discussions, family discussions, and one-on-one discussions with our children build the language competence so that we can share the hopes and savor the songs of our most amazing children. -Speech Therapists, Related Services Department, Celebrate the Children
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.