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Rhonda Valentine Dixon

How to Stop Your Words from Bumping Into Someone Else’s

On 16 April 2012 I spoke with the forensic psychologist (Dr Jenny Howell) assigned to write a programme for therapeutic services to be implemented at the youth detention centre attached to Darwin jail.  You know the one; it was in the media a great deal because of the abuse the guards perpetrated upon the boys and young men incarcerated there. Dr Howell arrived in Darwin armed with a copy of ‘How to Stop’… At all the meetings she attended, which I assume were brainstorming meetings with funding bodies, service providers and therapists, she espoused the value of our book.  She told those present that some of the young offenders had not learned the skills to communicate at a very basic level, let alone developed the ability to talk freely of the issues that brought them to the point in their lives at which they now found themselves.  Dr Howell suggested the therapists design their programmes with the social story format, which we use with our autistic children, in mind.  And our book presented the therapists with some of the stories they needed to use.

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