Presuming Competence

October 18, 2021

A colleague recently shared the site for a bilingual SLP and OT from North Carolina - Play Spark. This team is a dynamic duo who identify as a neurodiversity affirming therapists. Through their collaborative work, they often reflect and share posts about lifting the work. They recently shared a post about Presuming Competence. They wrote:

"Presume competence. We hear this term used frequently in the therapy world, but sometimes it helps to sit and grasp what this concept means. Presuming competence means that we begin relationships with our students under the presumption that they have the full capacity to think, learn, connect, and understand. Presuming competence is not wishful thinking or idealism. It does not mean to ignore the challenges our students face. Learning to presume competence means actively putting our deep rooted ableism to the side (and consistently doing so every day). Our judgments about students’ capacities affect every decision we make as therapists. These judgments affect the communication systems we introduce, the supports we recommend, the effort we make to connect and bond with students, and the futures we imagine for them."

I often spend time thinking about the presumption of competence and the incredible educators that we partner with everyday in WLWV. You embody this belief every time you lift your student's voice, advocate for your students, encourage them and listen to their words and actions. Check out a few of these fabulous examples of our colleagues and teams living into our District mission and our shared vision.

*Thank you, Sheila Canty (SLP at Sunset Primary School and Adult Transition Services), for sharing these professionals and resource!

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