non Verbal Communication yellow figureNon verbal communication subheading image


Interpreting Body Language

Sensory processing responses are often exhibited in a non-verbal manner. The normal population can also provide a verbal explanation to explain their responses and they also are able to understand interpretations and explanations from others. Many of the consumers* are either completely non-verbal or have limited or disorganized verbal skills. The feedback of how they process sensory stimuli is interpreted by observing their body language and trying to determine what is occurring.

This takes time and requires an evolving relationship with each consumer to be able to make that interpretation. What also
has been learned is the consumers are very sensitive to autonomic sensory events and often these are primary in their responses and overshadow the more external sensory stimuli. The other page links will give a simplified explanation of the sensory systems, sensory processing, caregivers, consumers and mutli sensory environments that will provide additional information on how important the interpretation of non-verbal communication is.

Because each house is a small facility, 4-6 consumers and the staff were recruited and have become dedicated staff because
of their interest in this population, they also have quickly learned how to interpret each consumer's form of communication. I rely on their observations when I am doing my consultations and also give feedback on my observations. Their professionalism is outstanding and the excitement is seeing major positive changes in behaviors.

* Consumer is used by the California Department of Developmental Services to define a client that has developmental
disabilities and is a utilizer of services.