Disability Awareness Day

by FS&TS

By Christianna Mullins CCC-SLP

July 14th is Disability Awareness Day! One role of speech-language-hearing professionals is to increase client awareness of their disability and improve self advocacy. Client and family involvement in the therapeutic process is essential to their awareness of their abilities and ownership of their goals and progress. How can families do this?

  • Set goals with your child and speech-language pathologist (SLP) early on in therapy
  • Check in frequently with your child and SLP to monitor progress
  • Gain the child's opinion of his or her progress and needs
  • Present the child with options and choices to build negotiation skills
  • Allow the child to present his or her opinions
  • Allow the child to experience the consequences of his or her choices: positive and negative
  • Work with your SLP to educate the child about their disability as well as the implications that it can have on him or her, appropriate to age and ability level
  • Have your child practice explaining his or her disability to others or to pretend friends, i.e. dolls, stuffed animals
  • Give your child responsibilities and allow him or her to help younger friends or siblings