Sheridan is a speech pathologist and researcher with a special interest in adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities.

Over the past 20 years she has been driven by the question “how do I need to be in order to be with you?” She works with families and staff to work out how they need to be to optimise the communication of the adults they support or care for.

Each person that she interacts with is different, requiring her to modify the way she interacts. Some people need interaction that is quiet, some need touch, some need high energy, some need words, and others need reassurance in interaction.

Sheridan’s byline “attentive engagement” represents what she sees as the primary focus of her work. It is meaningful in individual assessments, staff training, and the development of written documents. It also serves a reminder when things get busy or hectic, to return to attentive engagement as the core of interaction.