Webbing strengths (profiling after assessment)

Have you ever looked up close at a spider’s web? It’s especially recommended on a frosty or dewy morning. Look and you will see that “real” webs look very different to the ones we draw.

I’ve been struck by this analogy as I support young people to understand their strengths and their challenges. That web is just like each one of us! Unique! This week a 9-year old asked me “why do I come and work with you and the other children in my class don’t?” A really important question for him to ask and really important to get the answer right.

My answer, was to get out a piece of paper. Together we drew the spokes of the web and then we started to fill it it each segment of the web to represent different strengths, and tricky bits. I suggested the topic for a segment and he drew the lines. This child showed tremendous insight and I was blown away when he filled out his web very much how I would have filled it out.

We talked about how we all have our own web and they all look different. We talked about how but real life webs are not perfect, they are all spiky, and a bit wonky and squiffy. Most of all they are our unique web. So in answer to his question we both agreed that I was here to help him with those tricky bits and that we could help with some extra strands that make those bits a bit stronger, and to help him use his strengths to strengthen his tricky bits. Maybe a few extra strands of silk between segments.

Grow Communication web of strengthsIt was a lovely conversation and here is the outcome (I have redrawn it out of respect for privacy). We then had a lovely session together spinning some strands of silk (metaphorically). What I loved was that on his way out he stopped and said “next week I want to see your web”. What a lovely invitation and I will be delighted to draw out my own very spiky web. 🕸

I use this tool so often. Following assessment for autism, in my work with young people with developmental language disorder (like this little boy), with families who are struggling to understand their child, with teachers who are trying to get their heads round profiles, with siblings who need to find a way to understand and accept similarities and differences and with my own kids. It’s always positive and valuing – putting the tricky bits in context and celebrating strengths.

#autism #dld #communication #anxiety

Jude is a Specialist Independent Speech and Language Therapist at Grow Communication. She specialises in assessment and support of additional support needs and is passionate about unlocking potential. Www.growsalt.uk