Sunday, February 7, 2016

Love Hurts: Frenzied SLP Linky

Thanks to Maria from Communication Station, Laura from All Y'all Need, and Sparklle SLP for hosting the linky! You can keep up with The Frenzied SLPs by liking our Facebook Page.

Our assignment this time is to write about a time when we've been "injured" during therapy. I've been scratched, pinched, and hit more times than I care to remember. I have to admit, part of the time it was my own fault: I pushed too far, harder than I should have. I knew the student's breaking point, but I ignored it. Other times, he was just so frustrated because he knew what he wanted, but he didn't have the communication skills to tell me. And that's why they hurt us.

I had a student, many moons ago, who has autism and is nonverbal. I started seeing him when he was 9. Nine years old.  This student was 9 years old and didn't have any way to communicate. None at all. So we started at the beginning. He picked up on PECS pretty quickly, but not without being frustrated enough to reach out and give me a pinch...a wake up call, if you will. Just a reminder when I needed it that, "Hey, this is new to me, and I want it NOW." As well as, "You know what I want, so why don't you give it to me ?"

I remember one time, while walking him back to his room, he had a "meltdown" of sorts. He went after me, but I had it under control in a heartbeat. The office workers came out and asked if I needed help. I had to laugh at them and tell them I had it under control. It was amazing to me that they didn't realize how often SLPs deal with that. And, I have to be honest, if you haven't experienced it, you should. It's a very humbling experience, and it makes you realize just how much you can learn from this student.

So, if you have a student who has "aggressive tendencies", don't be afraid. Make sure you have the training you need to restrain him if needed (and make sure restraining, if necessary,  is in the IEP). Most importantly, remember why they're frustrated and how you can help. I like having students like this...not only is it quite the challenge, but so very rewarding when you can decrease the behaviors by giving him communication!

If you're a blogger, we'd love to have you join in! Not a blogger but have a Facebook page? You can still join in. Write your post and complete the linky information...it's that easy!


6 comments:

  1. Nice post Mary. Yes it can be so tough knowing when tompush and when to back off.

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  2. You're right, Mary! Don't let them see the fear!! :)

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  3. Thank goodness for object or picture exchange systems and AAC devices! Everyone need to be able to communicate! Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  4. I like the candid way in which you approach this topic. It's such a difficult balancing act for some children to keep them in a place of comfort with a little challenge rather than the environment becoming too challenging for them. Some children have better coping skills than others. I agree with you, everyone should experience working with difficult behaviors. In my opinion, it challenges us as SLPs, it humbles us as clinicians and it teaches us to be better caregivers. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Nicely written. It's so important to look at where the frustration is coming from.
    All Y’all Need

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  6. All behavior is communication. If we get hurt along the way, the end result is increased effective communication!

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