Communication with people with learning disabilities and with autism and the importance of non verbal communication

few outcome studies found, but personalisation is relatively recent in social work practice

As you know, at Elf Towers, we strive to identify the evidence you need to help inform the way people with learning disabilities are supported.

We have taken the unusual step today of pointing to a radio programme, from BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth series. The programme was broadcast this week and features the author Michael Rosen exploring the theme of communication.

You can hear a discussion with researchers with learning disabilities from the Norah Fry Centre at the University of Bristol  who describe work they have done on producing a DVD about adult communication, as well as an interview with Phoebe Caldwell, who talks about her work on “intensive interaction”, in particular the need to listen and ‘tune in’ to non verbal communication.

The programme should be available to listen for up to a year. It would be good to hear your comments.

Word of Mouth  Autism and Learning Difficulties, Rosen M, BBC Radio 4

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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