From Isolation to Intimacy: Making Friends Without Words

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007 - Education - 188 pages
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If you have no language, how can you make yourself understood, let alone make friends? Phoebe Caldwell has worked for many years with people with severe intellectual disabilities and/or autistic spectrum disorder who are non-verbal, and whose inability to communicate has led to unhappy and often violent behaviour. In this new book she explores the nature of close relationships, and shows how these are based not so much on words as on the ability to listen, pay attention, and respond in terms that are familiar to the other person.

This is the key to Intensive Interaction, which she shows is a straightforward and uncomplicated way, through attending to body language and other non-verbal means of communication, of establishing contact and building a relationship with people who are non-verbal, even those in a state of considerable distress. This simple method is accessible to anyone who lives or works with such people, and is shown to transform lives and to introduce a sense of fun, of participation and of intimacy, as trust and familiarity are established.

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About the author (2007)

Phoebe Caldwell has worked for over 35 years as a practitioner with children and adults with autism and people whose severe learning disabilities are linked with behavioural distress. She was a Rowntree Research Fellow for four years, trains management, therapists, practitioners, parents and carers in her successful approach to Intensive Interaction. She is employed by the NHS Social Services and Community and Education Services to work with difficult-to-provide-for individuals. In 2009 she was awarded the Times/Sternberg Award for pioneering autism treatment and is soon to be awarded a DSc by the University of Bristol.

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