I’m a Social work student on my First placement working with people that have profound learning disabilities and Autism. My decision to become a social worker is greatly influenced by social justice and equality for all. I speak more than one language and understand a few more. In some parts of the world, social justice is not for all but for those that can pay for it, or those that are able to stand firm and fight for their rights. However, those without a voice endure oppression and discrimination.
For me, they represent a means through which a person especially one that is nonverbal can communicate and make a choice as well as be understood. In the picture above is the choose board that allows people to make choose of whether to have tea, orange juice or grape juice; a widget that allows clients to know that session they are attending and a TEACCH board that has a schedule for all the activities for the day. Social work England and other authors I have read on the course highlight communication as one of the important skills for social workers. It is through communication that we can know how to help and empower people overcome their situations and barriers. However, being on placement, I have learnt there are more ways of communicating than the traditional verbal and nonverbal. I have learnt Makaton that I can use to communicate with people that understand it. For the people that can not use Makaton, symbols and gestures are used as means of communication (Total Communication). This has developed my observation skills and helped me to keep attentive when communicating with people as most times, we get distracted by our surrounding causing us to miss important messages.
Learning the different ways in which people communicate ensures that we allow them to express their wishes and work in a way that is not oppressing and discriminating to them allowing them to take part in decision making as well as promote social inclusion.