Promises from a Speech Pathologist
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.
©M.Feller and Alphabet Soup Speech Consultants, LLC. 2013
Please do not cite or reproduce without the author’s consent.
Bio: Melanie Feller, M.A., CCC-SLP is an ASHA certified pediatric speech pathologist/clinical supervisor and an ICDL certified DIR/Floortime practitioner. She is the owner of Alphabet Soup Speech Consultants, LLC., a unique developmentally based speech pathology practice in New Jersey; and the Director of Continuing Education for the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL), the parent organization of DIR/Floortime. You can learn more about her work at www.alphabetsoupspeech.com Follow her practice on Twitter: @loveofspeech or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alphabet-Soup-Speech-Consultants-LLC/208594300728