I recently heard the phrase “he’s non-verbal, he can’t decide what he wants to do.”
WEEELLLLLLL!!!! Let me tell ya!
So Joel is considered non-verbal. He can say a few words but mostly communicates through gestures, pointing, gifs, and emojis. If you’re around him long enough his speech makes a little more sense but overall its hard to decipher what he is trying to communicate but not impossible. You just have to try as hard as he is.
We always give Joel choices throughout the day. I think it’s important to give him the liberty of making his life his life. I’ve mentioned before about supported decision making but today, I’m talking about more simple everyday decisions.
So… obviously, there are other ways that Joel can decide what he wants to do. Something simple that I do when I can’t figure out what he wants is I hold up my two fists and make him choose one. Example:
If we can’t decide whether he wants to go to Walmart or ice cream. I will hold up one fist and say its Walmart and the other is ice cream. Then he’ll touch the one he wants.
I do not think it is okay to deny him of these simple choices every day of his life. If you believe that someone like Joel doesn’t have choices or I guess better said, can’t make choices, you are part of the problem. It is a very lazy and dangerous thought. All it takes a little effort on your part to enable someone like Joel to make their own choices.