This is the first in a series of posts on the importance of presuming competency, and strategies to help us.
If you want to see Joey’s smile, the first step is to look him directly in the eyes and talk to him in a voice you would use with any three-year-old. Next, ask him questions that require a response, and pause to let him attempt to answer. Nod at his answer, and then pause, waiting for him to see if he will expand on that idea by pointing, gesturing, or by glancing somewhere else in the room. Don’t talk to his parents about him in front of him. Talk directly to him. Presume his competence, even if he does not jump at the occasion to engage, or if he looks uninterested in your words that day. [Read more…]