Chatting with Haley and Poppy
Editor’s Note: Chatting with Haley and Poppy is a platform to advocate for children who are nonverbal. In ensuing posts, we will suggest published articles with the potential to reveal the preserved cognitive abilities of these children.
For those parents, caregivers, teachers, aides, researchers and clinicians who believe in the preserved cognition of children who are nonverbal, listen up. There is foundation for your beliefs. Your skill is based on science, it is the science of kinesics. Credit for that science is given to anthropologist Ray L. Birdwhistell.
“Man is a multi-sensorial being. Occasionally he verbalizes … and we must seriously examine the implications of the fact that man does not communicate by word alone.”
For 16 years Haley and I have communicated utilizing kinesics. Although she is nonverbal her understanding is reflected in her gestures, body movements, eye gaze, vocalizations, facial expressions, physiological condition, and her environmental and social circumstances. Through her non-verbal behavior she demonstrates her cognition.
In a previous email we featured the Insension Project which used identical technology to build a design and develop an ICT platform that enables persons with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PIMD) to communicate their intentions.
Conclusion: “Children with disabilities, especially autistic children should not be shunned or discriminated against because of their limitations. However, they must be given more opportunities to communicate and interact even through non-verbal communication. Hopefully this research can change people’s views about autistic children who are often seen as unable to do anything and experience obstacles in communication. They can be more sensitive or even more aware of the presence of those children, because basically all human beings are created both normal humans and those who have limitations also have the same rights.”
Contact: Ed Fennell firstname.lastname@example.org
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