SLP Corner: Promises from a Speech Pathologist
by Melanie Feller, M.A., CCC-SLP
I will not say “use your words.”
There are lots of ways to communicate.
I will not tell you to have quiet hands, a quiet mouth, or a quiet body.
Please feel free to move them all as you feel necessary.
I will not speak about you as though you are not there.
I know you understand everything, even if you do not use verbal speech.
I will not scold you if you put blocks on your head instead of in a neat stack on the table.
You can do anything you want with toys (as long as you are safe).
I will not assume you don’t feel.
Everyone feels. And we all express our feelings differently.
I will not tell you you need to earn a token so you can have a cookie.
You are not a trained pet that has to sit before getting their treat.
I will not drag you by the arm when you’re hesitant to leave or enter.
You are a person just like everyone else, and deserve explanations and options just like everyone else.
I will not tell you to “relax” and “stop it” when you are getting upset.
You have a right to feel as you wish, just like everyone does.
I will not, however, miss the signs of your anger/frustration, and ignore them until they become a bigger expression.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes to negotiate their frustration.
I will not insist you sit down to learn or play.
Who says sitting down makes you learn more?
Standing or rocking or bouncing (or all three!) are ok with me.
I embrace you for who you are. I applaud your uniqueness and your differences. I respect you and see you as a whole, capable, intelligent being. I presume competence. And I celebrate your remarkable soul.
About our Contributor: Melanie Feller
Melanie Feller, M.A., CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified bilingual speech pathologist/clinical supervisor and the owner of Alphabet Soup Speech Consultants, LLC. She specializes in pediatrics, with emphasis on those ages 0-3 who demonstrate verbal apraxia or language concerns related to Autism Spectrum Disorders. In her work with children on the Spectrum and other types of Special Needs,Melanie works within the DIR/Floortime model, created by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. She currently holds the Floortime Mastery Certificate and is studying towards her Basic DIR Floortime Certification. Melanie provides evaluations, consultation and therapy in multiple settings, including private practice, school based, and teletherapy (online video conferencing).
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