Disabilities, relationships & communication

Have you ever got frustrated communicating with a friend, partner, family all because they do not understand what you are trying to say? Have you ever had a hard time understanding the other person? Has you disability gotten in the way of effective communication because of the way you were born?

These are thing we are going to explore today. Effective communication while strengthening communication skills and social interaction. No matter the disability or not, communication can be tense and difficult for anyone. I use a lot of examples with someone with cerebral palsy because I am one of those people with cp. But, it does not matter if its cp or not, in my book, a disability is just that a disability.

Communication, relationships go hand in hand. In todays reading Im going to be focusing more on the communication than actual relationships. Communication is key to any relationship, no matter what kind of relationship. Sometimes communication can be hindered by emotions, such as frustration, agitation, mixed feelings due to a difficult time expressing the communication one is trying to convey. As an example someone with a learning disability may have trouble communicating and putting thoughts and feelings into words.

Being patient and learning how the disability effects each individual person can help in aiding effective communication. Along with understanding the persons limitations by educating yourself on what can and what cannot be helped. Everyone is different so this is a learning experience for everyone. Somethings can be changed such as a behavior and some things can not be changed such as the time it takes for someone to process what you said. By discovering what these are you can help the person improve on the areas that can be changed and having a little understanding on how to help effectively. For the issues that can not be changed you can help problem-solve on improving and helping the communication between you. http://www.ldonline.org/article/6007/

Communication in general disabled or not for anyone can be difficult and hard. Could you imagine the difficulties one with limitations can have while expressing their thoughts and feelings? Difficulty understanding, comprehending, expressing concerns etc. none of it easy. By being patient and understanding the difficulties one has it helps in educating ourselves on the difficulties that can bring to light ways to help improve our communication with others. For example some may need to relay a message in sign language or another may need extra time to process what’s been said and what they want to say in return.

Some specific disabilities can directly impact and interfere with effective conversing. For example, cerebral palsy can effect multiple areas of the brain and body, which, can have an effect on communicating to someone. From learning limitations to comprehension difficulties due to a neurological issue caused by a lack of oxygen. Also, having trouble with muscular or motor skills can also interfere. It’s a proven fact that it takes a person with cerebral palsy twice the energy to accomplish one task than an abled-bodied person, same goes with speaking, it takes effort to use the muscles in the mouth and tongue to speak, which means it could take a person with muscle tone issues longer than someone who does not struggle with that problem. https://www.cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/living/daily-communication/

The big question is what are some ways we can assist someone in conversation and expressing themselves without making neither party feel uncomfortable? Is there ways we can help improve our relationships with someone with various limitations? Most certainly. Some tips have been mentioned but the following includes others not mentioned above. Acknowledge the person in whom you are speaking to even if the other party has an interpreter. By acknowledging the person that’s a confidence booster so to speak. Do not be afraid to ask questions. We are curious creatures by nature and by asking questions we can learn and at the same time fulfill our curiosity.

Consideration and compassion are important. By being sensitive to the other person and their limitations by staying away from labels and wording your words thoughtful . Talking to others as if you were talking to your friends and family whom do not struggle. Those of us whom have difficulties want to just be treated and be like everyone else, we do not want to be treated any differently. Giving a person time to answer and ask questions without interrupting shows respect and consideration not to mention understanding on your part. Another big one is to finish the other persons sentence or thought. Do not assume you know what the other is going to say, patience is hard.

If someone does not understand something ask for clarification. Do not be afraid to ask a person to repeat what they said or explain it for you. Example big words, someone with a learning disability may not understand big words so by explaining the big word in small simple language the other person is apt to understand what you, the responder, is saying. Sometimes it helps to ask the person to repeat what they heard you say, so that you can clarify that the message was clear.

By using simple words, shorter sentences, asking questions and listening to the end before speaking are ways someone can help effectively communicate with another person. Doing these things can boost confidence, empower ones self-esteem, make one feel important, adequate, and capable of being successful at communication. These small acts can show that they can communicate with or without accommodations. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/publications/fact-sheets/effective-interaction-communicating-with-and-about-people-with-disabilities-in-the-workplace

I hope you enjoyed todays reading and that you all have a happy holiday season. See you all next year! Happy reading everyone!

Author: My cerebral palsy life

I became a writer in 2010, then I pursued an education in health care administration. Working to get a medical coding certificate to add to my professional titles. I and my husband have 2 adult children, 2 dogs. I was a single mother of two for 18 years. I have personal experience in health care as a cna, mental health and raising children with developmental disabilities. I am an advocate for the disabled as I was born with cerebral palsy and have learned to overcome challenges in life. My motto is life lessons are to be teachable, to educate, share our skills and learn to understand others that we encounter on life's journey.

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