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HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH A CLIENT

When you have a client who has FASD, or seems to have FASD, there are a couple quick tips for communication that will help you obtain information and maintain appointments. 

Firstly, it's very important to remember that when you call someone you don't have a view of what is taking place on the other end of the phone. If clients are on the bus when they take your call, they will likely forget what you tell them because they have no paper or pen in front of them and taking the bus requires a certain level of cognitive ability, therefore they are required to multi-task. 

Instead, consider ways that will allow the client to access the information, and retrieve it when necessary. Sometimes this will look like texting, other times a simple e-mail can be very helpful. Different instant messaing services or social networking sites allow you to leave messages for a person. 

Any method that provides the client with a message that is written and retrievable will increase the likelihood of making appointments on time. Even leaving a letter in the mailbox can suffice. Be sure to follow up with a phone call the day before or the morning of, reminding them to check their messages, or look at the map you sent. 

As service providers it can be easy to assume that a missed appointment means the individual does not want help or that the person will come to us when they are ready. This may not be the case for an individual with FASD as they may simply have a hard time remembering and managing the time that it takes to get to an appointment. 

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