Talking to people with verbal disabilities

by beagooddad on June 23, 2010

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People frequently have trouble talking to kids with special needs. It can make people feel self-conscious to talk with people who may not be able to communicate back normally. Over the years, I’ve watched a lot of people try to talk to Pookie and give up after getting what seem like strange responses back.

Here is a video about how to do it the right way. This is Ricky Stanzi. He happens to be the quarterback at the University of Iowa which happens to be my favorite team. The team is doing some volunteer/outreach work with Camp Courageous which is an organization that works with people with disabilities.

So Ricky is being interviewed and in the gets approached by one of the people from the camp. Watch how Ricky doesn’t miss a beat as he switches to talking to a guy that a lot of people would have trouble holding a conversation with. The way he pays attention to the body language and listens and talks is textbook on how you should talk to people that have verbal disabilities. Ricky doesn’t give one indication that he is feeling awkward or embarrassed and that’s while a news crew video camera is filming him about other stuff. He doesn’t even acknowledge that the cameras are around. He just talks to the guy about what the guy wants to talk about. He just talks to him like he’s a friend and they are just hanging out.

That’s how it’s done.

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