I’m Michele, and I am back in my 2nd Year of the MIS(LIP), studying part-time externally. I live in lovely, sunny Yeppoon in Central Queensland.
I am a long-time speech pathologist, looking to change careers. I have worked primarily with people with disabilities during my career. I have learned a lot; about communication, speech, language, and behaviour; not to mention different approaches to therapy, including person-centred, relationship-based approaches through to didactic behaviourist approaches. I have a special interest in the development of intentional communication, which occurs at around the 8-10 month mark in typical development, but may not occur at all in some people with profound disabilities. Intentional communication is great, because it is at this stage that someone realises that they can use their behaviour to communicate a message to someone. This is where you see a whole host of communicative behaviours occurring (before the development of speech), including joint attention (this is very important – this is where a person shifts their gaze between something in the environment, to a person, and back to the something again), reaching for things, gesturing, leading people to what they want, giving and showing items, and pointing. I love to see pointing. If I see pointing and joint attention, I think “woohoo! I might be able to teach some signs here, and this person could have a symbolic way to communicate”. I love to use play and super-motivating activities to develop communication skills.
I could go on and on, but I won’t, because I understand that my particular area of interest may not necessarily be interesting to others. If you have stuck with me for this long, I will wrap up by saying a little bit about what I like to do in my spare time. Actually, I don’t really have spare time. When I am not working, I am usually being a wife, mother, house-cleaner, runner, and now part-time student. I do love to read and listen to music, and sleep. I don’t get enough sleep.
Looking forward to the semester. I hope to have some fun playing with technology, while I am also learning.