Susanne Marie Poulette (Truesdale), MS in Ed, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who has spent her career working with children in schools, helping them to overcome communications difficulties, including problems in listening and comprehending spoken messages. Susanne first wrote about Whole Body Listening in a publication of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 1990. Two years earlier, a first grade teacher asked her to help a small group of student who were experiencing problems in listening to instruction. Susanne began by asking the students why they thought it was difficult to listen and pay attention in class. In time, the children identified reasons for many of the problems. Through group discussion, discovery activities, and problem solving, the children determined what they needed to do to improve their listening skills. Whole Body Listening was then born of the solutions and ideas of those first grade children. The ASHA publication two years later eventually became part of listening lessons in many therapy sessions and classrooms.
It is important to understand that the lessons of Whole Body Listening are simply suggestions for teaching and practicing listening skills. The lessons are tools, not rules. Every child presents with an individual set of strengths, differences, difficulties, attention spans, and developmental level. The unique makeup of each child needs to be appreciated and carefully considered before placing performance expectations on any given child.
Truesdale, S.P. (1990). Whole Body Listening: Developing active auditory skills. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 21: 183-184
Contact Susanne at firstname.lastname@example.org