On Not Talking

July 29, 2014 by - 2 Comments

On Not Talking
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Traffic lights and stop signs
Quarter rests and half restsOn Not Talking
Commas and periods

There are times when a brief pause is just what is needed. In AAC intervention, sometimes a pause is more powerful than anything we can do or say. More effective than us repeating or rephrasing, because those can interfere with processing. More helpful than a question or a mand, because overuse of those can build learned helplessness. Focused attention. Quiet bodies. A few seconds of silence.

Provide access to AAC with sufficient vocabulary.
Provide an eliciting context.
Provide a space for the communicator to process and respond.

There is power in the perfect pause.

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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Deborah Ahrns says:

    I agree totally! Communication is like ping pong you take a turn …..then I take a turn….learning to wait and the value of recognizing when that child has made a turn is so extremely important. Dr James MacDonald from the Nisonger center at OSU drove this point home over 30 years ago. In this day and age of instant responses it is very difficult for some adults as well as the child’s peers to get. Being a good role model with demonstrating this has been the most effective tool. I retired in January after having the opportunity to spend 35 + years working as an Intervention Specialist with individuals with “differing abilities” and their families. I miss it everyday! Keeping the lines open…..someone is listening. Dja

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      Deborah, so glad that you brought up the work of Dr. MacDonald. Not enough people know of those contributions!!

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