There are many documented reasons why humour and laughter is good for all of us. From a speech and language perspective, SLP’s use humour to establish rapport and reduce tension, model it as a means for social interactions, build confidence and to teach multiple meanings, to name a few. When I first begin working with a child, I like to use humour to connect with them and to establish trust. Plus, it makes sessions a lot more fun! If I’m not having fun during a session, then a child probably won’t either.
A couple of years ago I worked on a short term contract in Northern BC as a speech pathologist to help children and families that were on a very long wait list until they found a full time SLP to add to their team. One day, while I was working on lesson planning and documentation between seeing children, I noticed a couple of costumes (one in red, the other in blue) in the corner of the room that caught my eye. I discovered that the staff used these costumes (Elmo and Cookie Monster, naturally!) during community and educational events. Of course, I had to try one on! When would I ever get another chance to dress up as Elmo?
One of the reasons I love working with this age group is that I get to see the wonder of the world through a child’s eyes again and again. It forces you to take off your adult filter and see things in a fresh way... to hear, be reminded of and consider things through the beautiful eyes, sounds, words, and smiles of a child. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?