Most of us are lucky to be healthy and with no major problems whatsoever when it comes to our mental condition. Yet there are a few of us who just aren’t as lucky. They may be disabled or require special attention due to having birth defects or due to suffering major injuries after an accident. Some of them may even have problems controlling their emotions or conveying thoughts to others, although it really is no fault of their own.
Communicating with people with disabilities or special needs can prove to be challenging some times. Some of them may just be fine being communicated to like a normal, healthy human being, but others will face difficulties when we do that. This includes people who are have lost the use of one of more than one of the five main senses, as well as those whose brain development occurs at a slower pace than normal people. In cases like this, we will usually have to resort to something different than the words and actions we use as a habit.
In fact, verbal communication can be next to useless when dealing with disabled people, mostly due to them being unable to listen or process the words correctly. In such situations, people should try to rely more on non-verbal methods of communication, with body language being the most preferred option. This is due to several key advantages it provides: it is simple, easy to comprehend and can be used effectively by almost everybody bar those who have several physical disabilities, like paralysis or amputated limbs. Even the latter group of people could use it to some extent, provided that they aren’t fully amputated.
Communicating through our body and our actions is something that we learn naturally by living in our society, but when we need to use it as our primary form of communication, it is required to get more knowledgeable about it.
The best ways to learn the basics would be to consult a body linguistic manual, watch some videos or to get some professional body language coaching. There are now several established firms and individuals who specialise in teaching non-verbal communication, no matter whether it is due to work requirements or just because somebody wants to expand his or her horizons.
Finally, another thing to take note of when dealing with people with special needs or disabilities is to understand the fact that they are humans just like that. You need to treat them with care and respect, just as you would treat your friends or family members. Try to listen carefully to their problems, giving solutions of your own whenever possible. You will see that people will appreciate you for attending to them, and will express their gratitude.