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How to value non-verbal communication over spoken language

Attitudes must shift on people with profound and multiple learning disabilities who are non-linguistic and there is joy in establishing a meaningful connection

Attitudes must shift on people with profound and multiple learning disabilities who are non-linguistic and there is joy in establishing a meaningful connection

If good communication is more to do with listening than talking, we need to be open to hearing others in different ways.

In my job I support people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) who are non-linguistic. In most cases they do not use speech or words to communicate.

I have heard people say that a person with PMLD cannot communicate and this makes my heart sink. Such statements revoke responsibility and blame our inability to comprehend on the other person – the opposite to listening.

‘As children we communicate effectively without speech – we use a language of

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