Responsive Communication and individuals with profound and multiple learning disabilities

  • Observe what the person is doing to connect with themselves.
  • Look for any feedback the person is giving themselves that has meaning for them – it could be as subtle as quiet tongue clicking or listening to their own breathing rhythm.
  • Is what you are responding to raising or lowering the person’s stress level?
  • Respect pauses – actively do nothing – hold the space.


This series of short films shows an extended conversation  between Phoebe Caldwell (DSc, Expert Responsive Communication Practitioner who has worked with autistic people for 45 years) and Janet Gurney (BA, PGCT, Director of Training for Us in a Bus, a service based in Surrey that supports adults and children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and autism).