SoapBox: They Probably Understand...

*Soapbox Warning*

Just something that I thought I would put out there, for your future reference.  You know, because I like to make sure you are being your best self, and this will help you with that....also, because this particular thing bugs the snot outta me!

My advice to you is this:

When you are working with anyone who is nonverbal, never assume that they don't understand you.

Let's just imagine this for a minute:

You can't talk.  You have thoughts, opinions, things you might want to share with others, but you can't, because you are nonverbal.

Your ears work just fine, so you can physically hear what is going on around you.

Your receptive language (what you understand) is also fine.

Now, imagine that someone is talking about you in front of you.

What would that feel like?  Would you appreciate that?  What about if someone spoke for you?  Would you want someone to assume you don't want to answer for yourself?  (Because you might not be able to talk, but you can "answer" in other ways, of course!)

I thought this might be a good reminder as school starts back, and many of you might be working with kids who are nonverbal.  Just because someone doesn't talk, doesn't mean they don't understand.  People who are nonverbal are smart too!  Just remember that.

Always, always, always assume that people understand you.  It's just the considerate thing to do. :)


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