Brief Interaction Assessments

Some people with developmental disabilities have difficulties interacting with other people. They might have difficulties using speech or understanding speech. Some people have very severe disabilities, and other people might struggle to interact with them.
All people have interactions with other people. People with very severe disabilities have interactions, even if they appear to have very few communications skills. Interactions can involve hanging out with someone, letting them know what’s happening, reading their expressions of pain or pleasure, making choices, sharing what happened yesterday or in the future… there are many things that can be shared in interactions. Sometimes things are shared using words, and sometimes they are shared in other ways: body language, eye gaze, sounds, pictures, typing, signing, pace of movements, electronic communication devices.
An interaction assessment can be very helpful. It can give ideas for helping the person have better interactions. It can also document what is currently working best for the person.
Other terms for an interaction assessment are speech pathology assessment or communication assessment. I have chosen to use the term interaction assessment to emphasize that it is communication between two people, requiring skills from two people. My question when meeting someone is “how do I need to be in order to be with you?”
I can do an interaction assessment.
I have particular skills in working with people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. I also work with adults with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, congenital deafblindess, autism, and other disabilities.

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