‘Reduced ability to participate in
social interactions results in
the loss of a powerful means
of defining oneself, achieving
self esteem and maintaining
relationships with others’
I spend a lot of time by myself- as in, without another adult to talk to. When my husband gets back from trips away, I can’t wait to have someone to offload my day to. When I haven’t had the chance to do it for a while, everything feels a little bit more overwhelming.
I often use the quote above from Kagan in my reports. In these days when input has to be accounted for in terms of reduced hospital stays or helping someone back to employment, communication for well being can be forgotten. However it is paramount.
I often come across situations where someone with communication difficulties has very limited opportunities to engage with others. Despite life history books/communication passports etc, sometimes people feel very nervous about striking up a conversation with someone who cannot send conversation ‘balls’ back over the net.
I used to feel guilty if I had a speech therapy session that was ‘just’ conversation but now I realise the benefits. I’m providing an example to families/carers of the richness of conversations that can still be had even with severe communication difficulties. I’m also providing the space for someone to communicate what is on their mind and showing that I care. This can really help build the therapeutic relationship for future sessions.