The acronym NAC stands for ‘Non-verbal Affective Care’. An alternative and equally appropriate alternative name would be ‘Nurturing Affective Care’.
The name ‘Non-verbal Affective Care’ (NAC) was chosen after much deliberation because we wanted something that was catchy and also descriptive of what we do. The words Non-verbal Affective Care provide a handy short way of referring to our organisation which we hope will be memorable and enable people to easily refer to and talk to others about our work.
We chose the term ‘non-verbal’ because the activities and strategies we provide guidance on do not rely on verbal language or the use of words. People can access and benefit from the approaches that we promote with no requirement for any level of cognitive or language skill. For example, whereas usually mindfulness involves following spoken or written instructions or explanations, our guidance shows how mindfulness can be facilitated through touch and interactions. Furthermore, our wellbeing approaches do not involve engagement in talking therapies and so are suitable for people who are not using formal speech and language.
The use of the term ‘non-verbal’ is not intended as a label for the people the guidance is designed for. NAC’s guidance is suitable for anyone who does not use spoken or written verbal communication, regardless of the reasons or causes for any apparent cognitive or intellectual disability.
The word ‘affective’ means connected with the emotions but includes all feelings, moods and attitudes and so is broader and more all-encompassing than emotions. At NAC we are interested in how people feel and although the term ’emotional wellbeing’ is widely used, it is actually the entirety of people’s feelings that are of concern to us, including feelings such as pain, hunger, tiredness, excitement to name just a few.
Including the word ‘care’ in our organisation’s name was important because we believe that caring is at the heart of enabling people with high dependency to live a meaningful and good life.