Sumaya Babamia is a speech-language therapist and audiologist from Johannesburg, South Africa. She has worked for over 15 years with children from birth to school age who present with speech-language and communication difficulties. Her interests and areas of specialty include autism and neurogenic disorders, feeding difficulties, neuro-developmental therapy, and early childhood intervention as well as alternative and augmentative communication. Sumaya has taught at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg as a lecturer and clinical supervisor. She is currently registered towards a PhD (Education) at the University of Cape Town. Her research looks at the use of the Philosophy for Children pedagogy with autistic children using a posthuman praxis.
"Communication Interventions and Dis/ability—Towards a Posthuman Future"
Interventions for communicatively impaired individuals is embedded within anthropocentricism which is ironic considering that disability has always contravened the classical notion of the human. However the merging of disability and posthuman thinking questions what it is to be human and disrupts binaries such as in/human and dis/abled thereby (re)configuring social and political perspectives of power, subjectivity and agency for disabled individuals. Yet it remains for pedagogies and therapeutic interventions to (actively) adopt a posthuman praxis. Working within a material-discursive practice I highlight the intra-section of mind, body and objects in creating opportunities for communication in a 2-year- old nonverbal autistic boy. The data, when analysed from a posthuman perspective displays communication patterns that cannot be accounted for by anthropocentric theories of autism. The case study signifies the ethical and affirmative ontological possibilities for dis/ability generated by posthuman thinking. More so it becomes apparent that communicative interventions can be proliferated towards a posthuman future.