Your Language. A powerful tool in influencing Behaviours. Presented by Mr. Rhomea Kojic.

Your Language.
A powerful tool in influencing
Presented by Mr. Rhomea Kojic.
Behaviour Support Practitioner – AW Community Services.
 Take 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
What is Communication?
 “The imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or
information by speech, writing, or signs.”
 It is also defined as a “means of sending messages,
orders, etc. including telephone, telegraph, radio, and
 Biological definition - “An activity by one organism
that changes or has the potential to change the
behavior of other organisms.”
Oxford & Webster Dictionary
How Do We Communicate?
 We communicate in three major ways:
Spoken (Verbal):
There are two components to spoken communication.
 Verbal: This is what you are saying.
 Para-verbal: This means how you say it – your tone,
speed, pitch, and volume.
How Do We Communicate?
 These are the gestures and body language that
accompany your words. E.g. arms folded across your
chest, frowning, drawing on paper, tapping your feet,
 Question does our body language say more than our
actual words?
How Do We Communicate?
 Communication can also take place via fax, e-mail,
SMS or written word.
 With supporting some of the people we care for we
may also use: sign language, real life objects,
compics, social stories etc.
Mild intellectual disability (IQ 50-70) - may learn to read
and write (depending on available educational
 May incur difficulties with academic learning, (reading
and writing at a basic level).
 Sensitivity and allowing for extra time may be required
when requesting people read information or
complete written forms.
 Mild intellectual disability (IQ 35 – 50) - Most people
can learn to recognise some words in context (such as
Ladies/Gents/Exit) and many benefit from visual
prompts, such as daily timetables and pictures used in
communication systems.
Severe Intellectual Disability (IQ 20 – 35) or Profound
Intellectual Disability (IQ <20) - will require lifelong
assistance with communication.
 Often little or no speech and will largely rely on
gestures, facial expression and body language to
communicate their needs or feelings.
 Photographs or real life objects are very useful in
assisting e.g. a picture of a cup, or a cup itself, may be
used in conjunction with the spoken question, “Would
you like a drink?”
Receptive communication:
 Avoid technical jargon.
 Avoid long complex instructions.
 Speak more slowly and leave pauses for the person to
process your words.
 Speak directly to the person concerned, and ensure
they feel part of the conversation.
 Use clear short sentences.
Receptive communication:
 Ask one question at a time and provide adequate
time for the person to reply/respond.
 If it is necessary to obtain information from others
maintain the focus on the person through your eye
contact, body language and/or touch.
 If the person uses a communication device, then
ensure they have access to it, and use it with them.
Expressive communication:
 People with an intellectual disability may have
difficulties expressing their thoughts or feelings.
 Cognitive impairment makes identifying,
understanding and verbalizing these difficult.
 Keep the following points in mind:
Expressive communication:
 Provide plenty of time for the person to respond,
comment and formulate their questions or answers.
 You may need to explore to uncover what it is they
are communicating.
 Visual cues – such as objects, pictures or diagrams –
and facial expression and body language may all be
useful in communicating.
 Each person is unique (personality, ability), regardless
of IQ.
 Categories of mild, moderate, severe and profound
levels of intellectual disability give some guide to the
level of support someone might need, including
 The way that person functions/communicates in their
life will depend on many other factors.
Omar Deeb – Parramatta Advertiser – Wednesday, November 21, 2012.
Behaviour – A Definition:
 “Actions and mannerisms made by organisms,
systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its
environment”. Wikipedia
 Product of environment (interactions between
people) or internal stimuli.
 Observable.
 Serves a purpose/functional.
Defining Challenging Behaviour:
 Behaviour of such intensity, frequency or duration that
the physical safety of the person or others is placed in
serious jeopardy or behaviour which is likely to seriously
limit or deny access to the use of ordinary community
facilities (Emerson et al 1988).
 It is important to note that such behaviours are shown
by only a minority of people with intellectual
disabilities - 6.1% (Emerson 1995, p.24).
 “Challenging Behaviours represent a challenge to
services and those providing support, rather than
being a problem that the person carries around with
them”. (Blunden & Allen, 1987).
 Take 5 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
 From a young age people generally develop a range
of communication and social skills which enable them
to get what they want and need.
 Many people with learning disabilities do not develop
such skills or acquire different ways/skills.
 Left with much the same needs but much less
competent ways of getting them met.
 Or so we think.
Communication and its effect:
 Level/s of stress.
 Relationships with others.
 Level of satisfaction with your life.
 Productivity – AI approach.
 Ability to meet your goals and achieve your dreams.
 Ability to solve problems.
QoL Barriers from
 People with an intellectual disability encounter a
number of specific barriers to a good quality of life.
 Cognitive difficulties may lead to difficulties
understanding the importance and long term
implications of lifestyle choices, food and nutrition,
health etc.
 Limited literacy may mean they miss out on
information in magazines, books newspapers etc.
QoL Barriers:
 Communication difficulties between person and
others may lead to difficulty in the reporting of past
history, current experiences, wants, needs, symptoms
 Communication and cognitive issues in relation to
transport may lead to difficulties in independently
accessing the community – social inclusion.
 Convey your respect for the person you support
through your verbal and body language.
 Address the person and use a tone of voice consistent
with their age – i.e. speak to an adult as another adult.
 People with disabilities have a right to the same
courtesy any other person can expect.
 If you have to be straight to the point with your
communications remember to include praise,
recognition e.g. thanks Johnny or well done.
 Use of body language e.g. smiling, thumbs placed up,
high fives, light touch of the shoulder etc.
 Remember to treat a person with a disability with
respect. Don't treat them as inferior. They have
feelings just like you and I.
 We are all intelligent in our own ways.
 Offer assistance but do not insist or be offended if your
offer is not accepted.
 Be aware of the tone of your voice - is it patronizing?
 Smile regularly.
 Focus less on the disability and more on the person.
 If you are in a public area with many distractions,
consider moving to a quiet or private location.
 Be prepared to repeat what you say, orally or in
 Traditional communication often focuses on what is
wrong and how we can fix it. Think back to your last
performance review, visit to the doctor, or your latest
disagreement with a friend or spouse.
 Appreciative inquiry does the opposite: it focuses on
what is right and how we can make it better.
 Appreciate is defined as, “to value or regard highly; to
be fully conscious of; be aware of; detect; to rise in
 Inquiry is defined as, “the act of inquiring or of seeking
information by questioning.”
Random House Dictionary.
 Therefore, appreciative inquiry can be defined as,
“the act of seeking information about the things that
we value.”
At home Exercise:
 The next time you communicate with a person you
support - keep your hands behind your back or in your
pockets and request them to do something they
would normally do?