Top tips for communicating with people who have speech disabilities
22nd Aug, 2018
In Australia, 1 in 7 people will experience a difficulty with communication at some point in their life.
Communicating with other people is an essential part of human development, which is why Speech Pathologists are such a critical part of the healthcare industry; the help they provide ensures that those with speech disabilities have access to some form of communication.
Why is access to communication so important?
Can you imagine what it’s like to be unable to speak or struggle to convey your message to others? Think about the difficulties caused to someone who can’t express themselves, especially when they’re in physical pain or discomfort with no way of telling people. Communication access allows people with disabilities/speech difficulties to effectively communicate with their friends, family and the rest of society.
What can we do to remove communication barriers?
You can do your bit to help people who struggle with communication, even if you’re not in a speech pathology job.
- Treat them with dignity and respect
- Be friendly and kind
- Be open-minded to the varying forms of communication
- Avoid communicating in loud places; try to find somewhere quiet
- Ask them what might help with their communication
- Listen carefully
- If you’re struggling to understand them, let them know
- Should you feel they don’t understand you, repeat yourself or try another way of saying it
- Use yes or no questions if you’re struggling to understand them
- Wait for a reply if you’ve asked a question
- Be patient, allowing enough time for them to respond
- Make eye contact where possible. You should be mindful that some people may have problems with direct eye contact and want to avoid it (e.g. those with autism spectrum disorder).
- Speak to the person directly and speak normally. You do not need to raise your voice or slow down your speech.
(Source: adapted from tips from SCOPE.)
What do Speech Pathologists do?
Speech pathology jobs are focused on helping those with difficulties communicating or swallowing. They assess, diagnose and treat people of all ages, including young children and the elderly. Speech Pathologists are trained to help with a number of challenges, such as speaking, listening, understanding and/or using language, communicating in social situations, reading, writing and stuttering. They can also help people with dysphagia (swallowing problems), assisting them with safely consuming food and drink.
Find a Speech Pathology job with Your World Healthcare
Your World has been recruiting outstanding Speech Pathologists into positions throughout Australia for over a decade. Our expert team understands the importance of Speech Pathology and works closely with some of the biggest public and private healthcare settings nationwide.
To find out more about our wide range of exciting Speech Pathology jobs, register with us today and never miss out on the latest roles!
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