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WB_021617

The Wilmette Beacon 021617

10 | February 16, 2017 |

10 | February 16, 2017 | The wilmette beacon news wilmettebeacon.com Former Wilmette resident recognized for pioneering work in speech pathology Hilary Anderson Freelance Reporter Speech pathologist Ellen Pritchard Dodge travels a path that goes beyond the ordinary. Dodge, a Regina Dominican High School graduate, former Wilmette resident and Northbrook (Dist. 28) teacher, and daughter of longtime Wilmette residents, Raymond and June Pritchard, received high recognition from the California Speech and Hearing Association as a 2016 Fellow of the Association in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of basic communication of social skills. Dodge, who began working as a speech pathologist at Northbrook’s Meadowbrook Elementary School, discovered early in her career that speech pathology involved more than just problems with the mouth like stuttering. “I realized many students did not have the basic communication skills to deal with one another in every day social situations,” Dodge said. “They lacked the ability to make eye contact, read each other’s body language, understand and monitor another person’s tone of voice and what it meant, listening to each other and taking turns in a conversation.” She created a classroom curriculum that would help teachers instruct their students in the art of basic communication of social skills. Dodge wrote her first book about the subject, “Communication Lab.” She now is nationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of social skills communication. “If you don’t know how to communicate with others, you will have a problem throughout your life,” she said. “I am trying to bring back the original kind of Facebook called face-to-face conversation. We are losing our fluency skills on a personal basis. Technology is needed in the 21st century but we still require these other basic methods of communication.” She cited examples of how job interviews require these necessary communication skills as do interpersonal relationships. “How can job seekers present themselves in a positive light if they cannot look a prospective employer in the eye and talk about what benefits their talents and experiences can bring to the job,” Dodge said. “The success of personal relationships is likewise dependent upon the ability to say to a partner what they are feeling—whether it’s happy, worried, sad or upset. They need to know how to express themselves, what kind of tone of voice to use, how to listen to their partner, how to understand what the other person’s body language is saying.” She added these basic conversation skills must be taught starting at a young age. “We teach our kids to read and do math,” Dodge said. “We similarly need to teach these basic communications skills. There is nothing wrong with introducing technology. If we don’t, then the children are left behind. If we only teach technology, then they can find themselves on a slippery slide without the basic communications skills.” Dodge commented that parents often tell their children to use their words when they become angry, which is not always the best way in the heat of the moment. Some children don’t have the right words in their vocabulary yet. Other youngsters need parents to assist them retrieving helpful words or phrases. She said using body language and tone of voice to support words can make a situation better. “Only 10 percent of our response is done verbally,” she said. “Sometimes when we are emotional, we use the wrong words.” She adds that 60 percent of messages come across nonverbally to others. Another 30 percent is through tone of voice. To further her argument, Dodge stated one of the reasons Nina Rowan created Kimochis, the Japanese word for feelings, is because there seemed to be a lack of understanding about some young people’s feelings. This was particularly true of those individuals who were shooters at schools. Former Wilmette resident Ellen Pritchard Dodge receives an award for her work in speech pathology. Photo submitted “It was common to hear comments about a particular shooter such as, ‘he was quiet or never said much’,” Dodge said. “In many cases, those individuals did not know how to express their feelings — they felt lonely or left Please see Dodge, 12 THE NORTHBROOK TOWER Sober-living facility moves forward with neutral recommendation Dozens of attendees wore green ribbons in support of Providence Farm, a sober-living facility, during the Northbrook Plan Commission meeting on Feb. 7. The facility, that if approved will be located at 1620 Sunset Ridge Road, would provide a transitional home for men, ages 18- 30, from Northbrook and the surrounding areas after they have completed shortterm intensive rehabilitation programs. In order for the project to go forward with development, the Village must approve two text amendments regarding zoning codes and a special permit. Reporting by Sarah Haider, Assistant Editor. Full story at NorthbrookTower.com. THE WINNETKA CURRENT Stormwater improvement project plans in limbo Following months at the drawing board with Strand Associates and the Cook County Forest Preserve, the Winnetka Village Council explained that they still do not have an action plan for the stormwater management and improvement project facing western and southwestern Winnetka. Reporting by Lauren Kiggins, Freelance Reporter. Full story at WinnetkaCurrent. com. THE HIGHLAND PARK LANDMARK ‘Ray and Joan’ author visits library, shares Kroc’s inspirational story Ray Kroc built a business empire based on fast food, but few are aware his wife, Joan, became known as a world-class philanthropist. It was Joan Kroc’s donation of $225 million to NPR that moved veteran reporter and author Lisa Napoli to research her background and write a book, “Ray and Joan,” published late in 2016. Napoli discussed her book and related many of the secrets of the McDonald’s story — from how Ray’s billions were acquired to why Joan gave the money away — at the HP Library Feb. 8 at one of its Rise and Shine sessions presented by the HP Park Senior Center and sponsored by Sheridan at Green Oaks. Reporting by Hilary Anderson, Freelance Reporter. Full story at HPLandmark.com.

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