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Decision making and how a Speech Pathologist can help

Our daily lives are made up of hundreds of decisions. From the moment you wake up you start to make them – what time you will get up, what you will wear, what you will eat for breakfast, if you will brush your teeth or run for the early bus instead...decisions cannot be escaped!

Making decisions is a core part of what makes us human. Our decisions reflect who we are and what is important to us, and takes into account our values, previous experiences, desires and feelings in the moment. Most of the decisions we make on a daily basis are small and don’t have significant consequences. Others can feel stressful and unpleasant, or exciting and empowering. All decisions are important and shape our lives, but sometimes decision making can be tough and require support.

For individuals with cognitive and communication difficulties, decision making can be even more challenging. It can be overwhelming trying to consider all the potential options and comparing the pros and cons. It can be hard to consider other perspectives when you have your heart set on a particular outcome. Expressing your wishes to others can be difficult when you can’t think of the right words and you might find that people make decisions on your behalf.

At Specialised Speech Pathology, we have knowledge and experience using the LaTrobe Support For Decision Making Framework. This framework places you, the person making the decision, at the very centre. As speech pathologists we use our skills in communication and cognition to help explore your wishes, communicate your desires, structure your thoughts and consider all the possibilities. We challenge and encourage you to think big and to use resources and supports available to you to explore your options. We worked with your loved ones to help them recognise your independence and power in making decisions that affect you.

Here are our top tips for making decisions and supporting your loved ones to make decisions:

- Remember that we are all different! Just because someone chooses something different to you doesn’t mean that it’s wrong! Focus on what’s best for you and your life.

- Allow yourself time! Decision making isn’t always easy and the best option isn’t always clear. Be patient with yourself and take the time you need to consider all of your options.

- Seek further information. Sometimes you need more information before you can make a decision, and that’s okay! Spend time learning about your options and getting the information you need to be able to make an informed decision that suits you.

- Make a pros and cons list. Writing it down or talking about the pros and cons with another person can help make it clearer as to which decision is the best for you.

- Ask for support. It is normal to seek the support of trusted people in your life when making an important decision. Other people’s perspectives can reveal things you might not have considered. Our speech pathologists are here to help if you would like support with decision making including help with the thinking and communication processes involved.

Contact us to explore how we can help you and your loved ones with their decision making.


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